Beer & Partners is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Regulated Activity is a very complicated area and if you would like to understand it in detail, you should speak to a compliance professional. What follows here is only a basic guide intended to help answer some of the common questions which investors and clients ask. If you would like to know more, you can contact Beer & Partners’ compliance officer at email@example.com.
In 2000, the UK parliament introduced the Financial Services and Markets Act which defined “regulated activity” and created the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as the UK’s regulator. Since then, there has been constant change with parliament altering the law, the Treasury creating “orders”, Europe issuing “directives” and the FSA revising the rules to keep up. The situation for small companies looking for investment has changed more than most.
Making Financial Promotions
One of the Treasury’s most important contributions to the legal framework is the Financial Promotions Order which essentially makes it a criminal offence to encourage people to buy shares in a company unless the communication is formally approved by an FSA-authorised firm. You should speak to such a firm before thinking of raising funds yourself; sending your business plan to a few wealthy people could be a criminal offence.
Choosing an Advisor
Two of the most common regulated activities are “arranging transactions” and “advising on investments”. If somebody offers to introduce you to investors, or to give you guidance on fundraising, you should always ask whether they are authorised to do so (then check they’re on the FSA register) if they’re not, the services they can provide are limited and you may be at risk yourself.
What’s the worst that could happen…?
Improperly encouraging an investor to part with their money can be punished with an unlimited fine and two years in prison. If you use an intermediary who isn’t authorised, you’re still exposed because an investment which results from an unlawful approach can be made void at the investor’s request; whenever they decide they want out, you have to repay every penny they’ve put in.
Tips to be safe:
o Always talk to an authorised firm before you approach any potential investors.
o Make sure that anyone helping you can approach all potential investors not just ‘certified’ or ‘qualified’ investors (of which there aren’t many).
o Think at least two years ahead; fundraising approaches made in the early days can have legal implications on future attempts for some years.
Of course, Beer & Partners is authorised to arrange investments, advise on fund-raising, and approach any kind of investor. If you’d like to know more, please give us a call or drop us an e-mail and we’ll happily have a discussion and help you plan the next steps.
Any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not and however received, from an investor, introducer, Associate or client must be passed on to the firm's Compliance Officer. The complainant's full contact details and the details of the complaint as it was received should be passed to the firm's Compliance Officer whose details appear below.
The following steps will then be taken:
The firm's Compliance Officer (also referred to in this capacity as the Complaints Officer) will ensure that the complaint is acknowledged in writing to the complainant within seven days and a copy of this complaint handling procedure is included. Where the complaint involves the products or services of another FSA authorised firm, that firm will be passed full details of the complaint and asked to respond to the complainant directly.
Where the complaint involves Beer & Partners' products or services, the firm's Chief Executive will select a member of the firm's Board, not directly involved in the subject of the complaint, to investigate it. This person will take all reasonable steps to gather and examine information pertinent to the complaint and will, with the Chief Executive prepare the written response to the complainant.
This response will address the subject matter of the complaint and, where a complaint is upheld, will offer appropriate redress. Such redress will represent fair compensation for any acts or omissions for which the firm was responsible.
Appropriate redress will not always involve financial redress. The firm will comply with any offer of redress which the complainant accepts.
Where the complainant is a company or charity with a turnover less than £ 1 million or an individual then the complainant has the right to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Use of The Complaint Handling Procedure
The FSA's website and the firm's engagement letter will include the details of an appropriate person to contact regarding complaints. All of the firm's Associates and staff will be given a copy of the complaint handling procedure. A copy of the complaint handling procedure will be made available on request to anybody who has dealings with the firm.
For further information on complaint handling, or to give notice of a complaint, please contact the firm's Compliance Officer:
Beer & Partners
9 Little Trinity Lane
London EC4V 2AD