Your financial promotions (especially social media) and website are the public faces of your business. They are visible to the FCA as well as to your customers, so it’s essential you ensure they’re compliant – our comprehensive review service can help you ensure just that.
Simply defined, a financial promotion is material that is an ‘invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity, communicated by a person in the course of business’. In other words, it covers anything that promotes your firm’s products, and any communication that invites or attempts to persuade customers to engage in the products you market.
The regulator has the power to ban your promotions if they don’t stand up to its requirements. And apart from the reputational damage that can result, non-compliance can also result in justified client complaints, enforcement and a hefty fine.
How can we help with your financial promotions?
Within the Financial Promotions Order 2005, over 65 exemptions have been laid out, and are directly applicable to the promotion restrictions. These allow for a select type of individual to be engaged without obtaining a section 21 sign off.
The most common exemptions are:
- High Net Worth Individuals
- Investment Professionals
- Self-Certified Sophisticated Investors
We can review your section 21 signoffs and exempt communications to ensure their compliance.
Conducting financial promotion reviews and developing policy
We can work with your teams to review brochures, teasers and presentation materials and assess their compliance with the rules. We can also prepare bespoke policies so that regulatory requirements are being met from the initial product development and through all phases of the product lifecycle.
Assessing your website for financial promotions compliance
Your website is a key channel for potential investors to access information on your products and services. We can review content and risk warnings to make sure they are in line with the regulations and are presented in plain language with minimal use of jargon.
Understanding the impact of financial promotions rules on social media
Social media is being used more regularly to attract potential investors. We can review your policies, based on best practice, and review your online presence to identify any potential risks. Due to the continually evolving nature of social media, it is essential that your policies are flexible enough to be applicable to all of the different formats now available.
We are also able to review any electronic marketing communications that you may wish to make under the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulation (PECR) or the ePrivacy Directive.
Developing your financial promotions regime
As well as the specific elements of marketing, it is important that the structure and governance of your financial promotions regime comply with the spirit of the rules as well as the letter. We can perform independent reviews of your promotional governance and policies, as well as your distribution strategy where the FCA would deem that you are manufacturing or distributing financial products