As part of its consumer investment strategy, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced a new “consumer duty” (Consumer Duty) that aims to improve how firms serve consumers. In addition, the FCA has finalized new rules for marketing high-risk investments (High-Risk Marketing Rules) to ensure that only investors with appropriate risk appetites invest in high-risk products. Firms had to be in compliance with the High-Risk Marketing Rules as of December 1, 2022. For new and existing products or services that are open to sale or renewal, the Consumer Duty will take effect July 31, 2023; for closed products or services, it will take effect July 31, 2024. In light of the broad application of the rules to fund managers, placement agents and other service providers, MJ Hudson partner Mike Booth presented a program examining key features and terms of both rules. This first article in a two-part series provides useful background information for both rules before delving into the nuances and requirements of the High-Risk Marketing Rules. The second article
will provide relevant takeaways for fund managers about their obligations under the Consumer Duty. For more on other recent FCA activity, see “FCA Seeks Input on Updating Asset Management Regulation
” (Apr. 27, 2023); and “New FCA Consultation: the U.K. Version of the E.U.’s SFDR?
” (Jan. 5, 2023).