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Adviser’s ad fell foul of promotion rules

The FSA says an adviser’s newspaper advert about an investor day amounts to a financial promotion and has reprimanded the firm for failing to include appropriate risk warnings.

Philip J Milton & Company recently advertised an investor day it held about the Greenwich loan income fund. Managing director Philip Milton says on the day investors were told the firm planned to reduce its exposure to the fund and maintains no investors were encouraged to buy into the fund directly.

The advert was reported to the FSA, which judged it to be in breach of financial promotion rules. The FSA told Milton it defines a financial promotion as an “invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity that is communicated in the course of business”.

The regulator requires promotions to be balanced, clear and not misleading and give sufficient information on the product and its risks.

In an email to Milton, FSA staff said: “The communication is considered to be a significant step in enticing a recipient to engage in investment activity. I have no cause to doubt the content of your own or your speaker’s presentations to be non-promotional in nature, though I assume that you also appreciate our stance on standalone compliance for all financial promotions.”

An FSA spokesman says while the event itself was non-promotional, in its wider context, it met the definition of an invitation or inducement to carry out investment activity.

Milton says: “We have apologised to the FSA where our interpretation of the financial promotions differed from its own.”

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