FSA and industry define RSP credo

THE FINANCIAL Services Authority (FSA) has released its guidance on provider and distributor responsibilities just days after an alliance of industry bodies launched its retail structured products (RSPs) principles last week (10 July).

The FSA’s guidance rules fit within its ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ initiative, which aims to provide customers with a high level of service when purchasing any kind of retail banking product.

The FSA’s research, coupled with the RSP principles launched last week, will influence the way these products are distributed globally, potentially expanding this sector of retail investment.

JPMorgan managing director Tim Hailes, who is chairman of the RSP principles joint association working group, said: “The FSA’s research covers a range of issues relating to the retail market, one of which is RSPs.

Our research is specifically about RSPs and the relationship between the investment banks and distributors.”

Global regulators such as France’s Autorité des marchés financiers and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong have analysed the issues surrounding distribution of RSPs and how retailers can invest in these products safely.

Clifford Chance partner Simon Gleeson said: “These are global issues and it will be interesting to see how the industry responds to both sets of principles.

“We’ll have to see how they can be applied in various jurisdictions. This is very much the starting point.”

The working group will be discussing future issues relating to RSPs and how it might be possible to apply the principles across a number of global jurisdictions.