Is your email footer compliant?

FCA Requirements
The General Provisions Handbook (GEN), specifies certain requirements that electronic communications (i.e. emails, websites etc.) must adhere to. These are summarised below.

GEN 4.3.2 and GEN 4 Annex 1 Statutory status disclosure
For a UK domestic firm that is not PRA-authorised, the required disclosure in GEN 4 Annex 1 R is:

“Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority”

There is a degree of ambiguity as to when firms must include their FRN. While GEN is silent on this, the net effect of other applicable regulations (in particular, the E-Commerce rules – see below) is that the FRN should be included on emails and websites.

For Appointed Representatives, the required regulatory statement is:

“[Name of appointed representative] is an appointed representative of [name of firm] which is Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority”

Note that, where both the AR regulatory statement AND a FRN are required, it is the Principal Firm’s FRN that should be quoted. The AR FRN can be included as well, but not instead.

Firms should note that they are required to use the full title of “Financial Conduct Authority” and not the abbreviated formulation “FCA”. 

More information can be found here and here.

E-Commerce Requirements
The FCA also refers to the E-Commerce rules. The full impact of this legislation is complex and will repay further research if firms are significantly involved in this area. A good starting point is FCA COBS 5.2.

 

Companies House Requirements
For Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships, Companies House also requires limited companies to include the following information: 

  • the company’s registered number;
  • its registered office address;
  • where the company is registered (England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland);
  • the fact that it’s a limited company (usually by spelling out the company’s full name including ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’);
  • If you want to include directors’ names, you must list all of them.

More information can be found here.
 

Not required but worthy of consideration
Many firms include a disclaimer similar to the one below.

“This document is intended to be read only by the persons to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. This e-mail may not be secure once it has left FIRM, and we strongly suggest that you check it for viruses. FIRM cannot accept any liability for viruses.

If you have read this message in error, please:
a) notify FIRM immediately;
b) take no action based on the information contained in the message;
c) do not copy, reproduce or distribute the information; and
d) delete the message from your computer.”

Important Note: ATEB news is intended to provide general information ONLY. The content, including any views expressed or guidance provided, does not replace the need to comply fully with FCA Rules and Guidance. Unless you have discussed news article content with ATEB, and specifically how it relates to your circumstances, then ATEB disclaims all liability and responsibility and actions arising from any reliance placed upon it. For the avoidance of doubt therefore, any reliance you place on such information without our consultation is at your own risk.

ATEB Compliance offers compliance and regulatory advice.

ATEB Suitability provides report writing software for the financial services market.

Our View

We have seen a number of non-compliant email footers and would suggest that firms consider whether their email footer is compliant.

Action Required By You

  • Check your email footer against the information above and amend as appropriate.
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About the Author

Technical Manager - Often referred to as the Oracle or the Sage, Alistair has a wealth of financial services experience. He is our go-to Technical Manager and enjoys nothing more than a complicated conundrum. Feel free to test his renowned knowledge by getting in touch.

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