Application of the FCA's COBS 4 rules

The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Application of the FCA's COBS 4 rules
  • What do the rules in COBS 4 apply to?
  • Type of business
  • Who do the rules apply to?
  • Type of client
  • MiFID, equivalent third country or optional exemption business
  • Diagrams for application of COBS 4
  • Territorial scope of COBS 4
  • Interplay with EU law
  • Exemptions from COBS 4
  • More...

Application of the FCA's COBS 4 rules

BREXIT: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 (‘IP completion day’) marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Following IP completion day, key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see: Brexit and financial services: materials on the post-Brexit UK/EU regulatory regime.

Chapter 4 of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) Conduct of Business sourcebook (COBS 4) contains the conduct of business requirements for communications (including financial promotions) made by authorised firms to their clients.

This Practice Note explains how COBS 4 applies to firms in the UK and will help such firms to establish whether the rules apply to them and in what circumstances.

What do the rules in COBS 4 apply to?

The rules in COBS 4 apply to authorised firms which communicate or approve financial promotions.

Type of business

It is the type of business which a firm carries out which will determine exactly which rules apply. For instance, there are specific provisions which apply to firms subject to the recast Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2014/65/EU) (MiFID II) and Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation (EU) 600/2014) (MiFIR) who are communicating material in relation to their MiFID,

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