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Treasury rethink on journalist rules

The Treasury is reviewing its plans laid out last week to force financial journalists to disclose share interests in firms which they write about in articles.

It said there would be a debate on proposals in Article 20 of the Financial Promotions Order obliging journalists to put in print any financial interests held in a company on which they advise or promote in publications.

But despite three previous consultations, the Treasury admits it is continuing to consult on the plans, due to be introduced in N2, raising suspicions the measure may be dropped.

The Treasury says the proposals were unveiled to stay on track with the other legislation for N2, but says there is no deadline for consultation.

Under the new regulations, responsibility for issuing guidelines and compliance would fall on the FSA, which would have to establish what would be considered promotion or advice within an article.

An FSA spokesman says: “We will await the final version of the Financial Promotions Order and then issue some perimeter guidance.”

A Treasury spokesman says: “The objective remains the same. We are listening to views on how this may be achieved.”

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