Taxbriefs Commentary Library

Approach with care – forwarding articles about investing to clients

Danby Bloch, 21 Jun 2013


 

An adviser friend was considering sending out a magazine article about investing to some of his clients and prospective clients. It was all about how to pick successful fund managers: the writer suggested that while difficult, it was perfectly possible for a skilled financial operator. My friend thought this might help drum up some interest and asked me what I thought.

I said I thought he was at least as capable of picking winners as anyone, but that he should be careful about forwarding to clients any articles about investing that had not been written with the FCA’s financial promotions rules in mind. In fact if he did it, he could land up in the proverbial – to use a technical compliance and regulatory expression.

The fact is that whatever a financial adviser emails, tweets, Facebooks or sends by post to clients about investing is likely to be a financial promotion and subject to the pretty stringent rules that the regulator has set. Forwarding articles in the trade or general press suggesting investments or investment strategies in electronic or printed form are not exempted.

Journalists are by and large immune from regulation and subject to a regime they fondly call ‘freedom of the press’. But simply because a journalist has written something doesn’t mean an adviser can happily forward it to clients.

Communications count as financial promotions if they are designed to influence or induce clients to invest. They have to be clear, fair and not misleading. What’s more there all kinds of warnings they have to include about past performance, investments going down as well as up etc. And there’s much more besides.

Maintaining communication with your clients is important. If you want to send them printed or electronic material, get it from a reliable source that understands the financial promotion rules – like Taxbriefs. It is you and your business on the line.

 


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Danby Bloch

Editorial Director, Taxbriefs

Danby Bloch is the editorial director of Taxbriefs, chairman of city-based IFAs, Helm Godfrey and director of Nucleus, an independent wrap provider.

Over a period of more than 40 years, Danby has established himself as one of the industry's leading thinkers and  is a respected author, lecturer and trainer on tax and financial planning.

 

 

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