FCA COBS 4 rules—Form and content of promotions

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

  • FCA COBS 4 rules—Form and content of promotions
  • The fair, clear and not misleading rule
  • Prominence
  • Promotions to be identifiable as such
  • Compensation
  • Retail client communications
  • Comparisons
  • Tax
  • Consistency
  • Innovative Finance ISAs and Lifetime ISAs
  • More...

FCA COBS 4 rules—Form and content of promotions

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.

This Practice Note explains the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) form and content requirements for client communications, including financial promotions under the FCA's Conduct of Business sourcebook (COBS). For detailed guidance on the requirements for performance information, direct offer promotions and cold calls, see Practices Notes: COBS 4—Past, simulated past and future performance and COBS 4—Direct offers and cold calls

The fair, clear and not misleading rule

All communications made by firms to their clients must, taking into account the nature of the client, be fair, clear and not misleading (the fair, clear and not misleading rule). Following amendments to COBS 4 made as a result of the implementation of the recast Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2014/65/EU) (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation (EU) 600/2014) (MiFIR) (together the MiFID II Framework), the rule specifically applies to:

  1. communications  to customers in relation to designated investment

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