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Regulator clears the way for Reit advice

Major real estate investment trust players have welcomed FSA clarification on its status regarding Reits.

Reita, the website behind the Reits and Quoted Prop-erty Group, says it welcomes the greater clarity on the position of advisers wanting to advise on Reits.

The regulator says although most UK Reits are subject to the FSA listing rules, people investing directly in Reit shares cannot seek redress from the Financial Ombudsman Service if they need to complain about the advice they received.

The FSA says: “Most adviser firms do not need to apply to change their FSA permission in order to give advice on Reits. Reits are not FSA-authorised firms. A share in a Reit is a share in a listed company, which is an investment in the context of the FSA handbook. So if a firm already has permission to give investment advice in relation to shares, it does not need an additional permission to advise clients on buying and selling shares in Reits.”

Reita programme coordinator Dave Butler says: “The FSA guidance clears the way for financial advisers to be confident when they advise clients on property investments. In the last IFA research commissioned by reita.org, 34 per cent of IFAs were uns-ure if they are able to advise on Reits. From today, they will know their position simply by checking their permitted business categories or asking their compliance officers for guidance on this.”

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