Status Disclosure

Regulatory Roundup 47 reminded firms of the need to update the status disclosures on their stationery to reflect the move from the FSA to the FCA (and PRA where relevant) – GEN 4 Annex 1 details the required disclosures. To assist firms, and presumably to keep stationery costs under control, a transitional provision (GEN TP 1) meant that firms could continue to refer to ‘FSA’ until 1 April 2014.

Those firms making use of the transitional should be aware that the FCA has had a rethink.

Although the transitional provision still remains, we are advised that it cannot be used where the obligations derive from European law and COBS 5 (Distance communications); 6 (Information about the firm, its services and remuneration); 9 (Suitability) and 13 (Preparing product information) are specifically quoted. The statement by the FCA adds:

“The FCA recognises that it may not have been possible for firms to make all the required status disclosure updates immediately upon Legal Cutover and, as a result, where transitional provisions are not available requires firms to be able to demonstrate that they have plans to make these updates at the earliest practical opportunity”.

Although most firms make a status disclosure in documentation etc., an approach that we would endorse, strictly speaking the regulatory requirement – as opposed to accepted business practice – for disclosure is limited e.g. it only applies to letters (or electronic equivalent) which are sent to retail clients in connection with carrying on a regulated activity; it does not apply to items such as business cards, compliment slips or account statements (unless, for some reason, you are using them as a letter substitute). Further details can be found in GEN 4.3.