FCA client classification requirements
FCA client classification requirements

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

  • FCA client classification requirements
  • COBS definition of 'client' and changes introduced by the MiFID II framework
  • Client categorisation and regulatory impact
  • Retail clients
  • Per se professional clients
  • Elective professional client
  • Eligible counterparties
  • Per se eligible counterparties
  • Elective eligible counterparties
  • Providing information to clients before providing services and increasing clients' level of protection
  • more

BREXIT: As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: The impact of Brexit on the MiFID II regime.

COBS definition of 'client' and changes introduced by the MiFID II framework

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA's) definition of a client is set out in chapter 3 of the Conduct of Business sourcebook (COBS 3) and historically derived from the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2004/39/EC) (MiFID). MiFID has been replaced by the recast Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2014/65/EU) (MiFID II Directive) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation (EU) 600/2014) (MiFIR) (together the MiFID II framework). Both the MiFID II Directive and MiFIR entered into force on 2 July 2014. As amended, the majority of the MiFID II framework has applied since 3 January 2018, and EU Member States had until 3 July 2017 to transpose the provisions of MiFID II into national law. The MiFID II Directive contains provisions which amended the original client categorisation requirements under MiFID.

The FCA consulted its implementation approach to changes to the previous client