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Advisers support FSA plans to ban Ucis promotion

FSA Sky 480

Advisers have backed the FSA over plans to ban the promotion of unregulated collective investment schemes to the majority of retail investors.

The FSA published its review of Ucis rules last week, which proposed a ban on promoting Ucis and similar products to retail investors unless they are sophisticated, high net worth individuals.

The FSA says it is proposing the ban as Ucis promotion rules currently in place are not being adhered to, which is exposing consumers to a significant risk of detriment.

Page Russell director Tim Page says: “The FSA paper is the best explanation of what IFAs can and cannot do regarding Ucis funds so far, though it is a pity the FSA left it this late. The paper strikes a good balance between allowing those that are willing and able to bare any losses to continue to invest, while protecting those that cannot.”

Informed Choice executive director Nick Bamford says: “A lot of IFAs seems to have run roughshod over the existing rules to only promote Ucis to sophisticated investors who have the capacity to understand the difference between a regulated and unregulated fund from a risk perspective.

“The FSA is right to take this action. Exotic investments such as Bolivian rainforests and golf courses in Mexico are the kind of thing retail investors can do without.”

Sovereign IFA director Mark Hibbitt says: “It does not surprise me that the FSA has proposed this ban. There may be a minority of IFAs who do their due diligence on these schemes, and explain the risks. But whenever I have come across Ucis the schemes have been poorly promoted.”


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