Territorial scope of the general prohibition
Territorial scope of the general prohibition

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

  • Territorial scope of the general prohibition
  • Where and how does the general prohibition apply?
  • Outward and inward territorial scope
  • Territorial scope under FSMA 2000, s 418
  • Considerations for overseas persons
  • Exclusions for overseas persons
  • Territorial scope of regulated claims management activities

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 on the impact of Brexit on financial services in the UK, see Brexit—Financial Services—overview.

Where and how does the general prohibition apply?

There is a fundamental prohibition at the heart of the UK regulatory regime whereby a person cannot carry out a regulated activity in the UK, or purport to do so, unless they are either: authorised or exempt. This is known as the 'general prohibition' (section 19 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000)). Technically the general prohibition only applies to a person carrying out or purporting to carry out a regulated activity in the UK. However the circumstances in which a person is carrying out a regulated activity in the UK are not fully defined in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000) and so whether an activity is regulated will depend on the general law. This Practice Note looks at the territorial application of the general prohibition. For more information about the general prohibition, see Practice Note: The general