Treasury is consulting on amending the definition of “giving investment advice” under the Regulated Activities Order to bring it into line with MiFID. The current definition is broader than MiFID, and the Financial Advice Market Review found it was confusing to firms, many of whom were not giving as much “guidance” to customers as they could for fear of straying into “investment advice”. Treasury believes that if it changes the definition to align it with MiFID (and also specifies its application to certain advice given to persons who are lenders on regulated P2P agreements), this will give firms more clarity and costs savings. It notes this means some firms that offer guidance as a stand-alone service would not need authorisation, but it has assessed the risks these firms might try to distribute products while unauthorised and has concluded existing protections should address these. Consultation closes on 15 November.
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