Introduction to the FCA COBS 4 rules
Introduction to the FCA COBS 4 rules

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

  • Introduction to the FCA COBS 4 rules
  • What is the definition of a financial promotion?
  • Object of the FCA’s communications requirements
  • Application of the rules
  • Type of business or client
  • Territorial scope
  • Key rules in COBS 4
  • Penalties relating to financial promotions
  • FCA powers to withdraw financial promotions
  • COBS 4 and treating Customers Fairly
  • More...

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 provides an overview to the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) contained in Chapter 4 of the Conduct of Business sourcebook (COBS 4) requirements, which apply to financial promotions and other communications made by authorised firms to their clients in relation to designated investment business.

Any business operating in the financial services sector in the UK has to confront a wide range of rules and regulations governing their marketing activities. This is the result of the financial promotion regime which covers all forms of advertising of regulated products or services in the UK.

The financial promotion regime derives from:

  1. the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000)

  2. the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, SI 2005/1529 (FPO)

  3. the FCA rules (FCA Handbook)

  4. the FCA Listing Rules

  5. prospectus regulations, and

  6. orders made by the Treasury.

What is the definition of a financial promotion?

A financial promotion is an invitation or inducement

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