SRA Handbook

Other restrictions

Version 21 of the Handbook was published on 6 December 2018. For more information, please click "History" above.

Rule 5: Other restrictions

5.1

Retail investment products (except personal pension schemes)

(a)

A firm must not recommend, or make arrangements for, a client to buy a retail investment product except where:

(i)

recommending, or arranging for, a client to buy a retail investment product by means of an assignment;

(ii)

the arrangements are made as a result of a firm managing assets within the exception to rule 5(4) below; or

(iii)

arranging a transaction for a client where the firm assumes on reasonable grounds that the client is not relying on the firm as to the merits or suitability of that transaction.

5.2

Personal pension schemes

(a)

A firm must not recommend a client to buy or dispose of any rights or interests in a personal pension scheme.

(b)

A firm must not make arrangements for a client to buy any rights or interests in a personal pension scheme except where the firm assumes on reasonable grounds that the client is not relying on the firm as to the merits or suitability of that transaction but this exception does not apply where the transaction involves:

(i)

a pension transfer; or

(ii)

an opt-out.

5.3

Securities and contractually based investments (except retail investment products)

(a)

A firm must not recommend a client to buy or subscribe for a security or a contractually based investment where the transaction would be made:

(i)

with a person acting in the course of carrying on the business of buying, selling, subscribing for or underwriting the investment, whether as principal or agent;

(ii)

on an investment exchange or any other market to which that investment is admitted for dealing; or

(iii)

in response to an invitation to subscribe for an investment which is, or is to be, admitted for dealing on an investment exchange or any other market.

(b)

This rule does not apply where the client is:

(i)

not an individual;

(ii)

an individual who acts in connection with the carrying on of a business of any kind by himself or by an undertaking of which the client is, or would become as a result of the transaction to which the recommendation relates, a controller; or

(iii)

acting in his capacity as a trustee of an occupational pension scheme.

5.4

Discretionary management

(a)

A firm must not manage assets belonging to another person in circumstances which involve the exercise of discretion except where the firm or a manager or employee of the firm is a trustee, personal representative, donee of a power of attorney or receiver appointed by the Court of Protection, and either:

(i)

all routine or day to day decisions, so far as relating to that activity, are taken by an authorised person with permission to carry on that activity or an exempt person; or

(ii)

any decision to enter into a transaction, which involves buying or subscribing for an investment, is undertaken in accordance with the advice of an authorised person with permission to give advice in relation to such an activity or an exempt person.

5.5

Corporate finance

(a)

A firm must not act as any of the following:

(i)

sponsor to an issue in respect of securities to be admitted for dealing on the London Stock Exchange; or

(ii)

nominated adviser to an issue in respect of securities to be admitted for dealing on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange; or

(iii)

corporate adviser to an issue in respect of securities to be admitted for dealing on the PLUS Market.

5.6

Insurance distribution activities

(a)

A firm may only carry on insurance distribution activities as an ancillary insurance intermediary.

(b)

A firm must not carry on any insurance distribution activities unless the firm:

(i)

is registered in the Financial Services Register; and

(ii)

has appointed an insurance distribution officer who will be responsible for the firm's insurance distribution activities.

(c)

If a firm is carrying on, or proposing to carry on, insurance distribution activities it must notify the SRA in the prescribed form.

(d)

The SRA may give the FCA any of the information collected on the prescribed form and the firm must notify the SRA without undue delay of any changes to this information or to any information about the firm that appears on the Financial Services Register.

(e)

Rule 5.6(c) does not apply to a firm that has been registered in the Financial Services Register and was able to carry on insurance mediation activities before 1 October 2018.

5.7

Regulated mortgage contracts

(a)

A firm must not recommend a client to enter as borrower into a regulated mortgage contract but can endorse a recommendation given by an authorised person with permission to advise on regulated mortgage contracts or an exempt person in relation to the giving of such advice.

5.8

Regulated home purchase plans

(a)

A firm must not recommend a client to enter as home purchaser into a regulated home purchase plan with a particular person but can endorse a recommendation given by an authorised person with permission to advise on regulated home purchase plans or an exempt person in relation to the giving of such advice.

5.9

Regulated home reversion plans

(a)

A firm must not recommend a client to enter as reversion seller or plan provider into a regulated home reversion plan with a particular person but can endorse a recommendation given by an authorised person with permission to advise on regulated home reversion plans or an exempt person in relation to the giving of such advice.

5.10

Regulated sale and rent back agreements

(a)

A firm must not recommend a client to enter as agreement seller or agreement provider into a regulated sale and rent back agreement with a particular person but can endorse a recommendation given by an authorised person with permission to advise on regulated sale and rent back agreements or an exempt person in relation to the giving of such advice.

5.11

Credit-related regulated activities

(a)

A firm must not enter into any transaction with a client in which it:

(i)

provides the client with credit card cheques, a credit or store card, credit tokens, running account credit, a current account or high-cost short-term credit;

(ii)

holds a continuous payment authority over the client's account; or

(iii)

takes any article from the client in pledge or pawn as security for the transaction.

(b)

A firm must not:

(i)

enter into a regulated credit agreement as lender; or

(ii)

exercise, or have the right to exercise, the lender's rights and duties under a regulated credit agreement,

which is secured on land by a legal or equitable mortgage.

(c)

A firm must not:

(i)

enter into a regulated credit agreement as lender; or

(ii)

exercise, or have the right to exercise, the lender's rights and duties under a regulated credit agreement,

which includes a variable rate of interest.

(d)

A firm must not provide a debt management plan to a client.

(e)

A firm must not charge a separate fee for, or attribute any element of the firm's fees to, credit broking services.

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