FSA is consulting on changes to COBS that will ensure compliance with the standards of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) when consumers use platforms to buy and manage investments. It will introduce a new definition of "platform service" and will require firms to take reasonable steps to ensure they do not make personal recommendations to retail clients for retail investment products if the charging structure appears to offset adviser charges or provide the customer with a cash rebate. It applies relevant parts of COBS to platform service providers and introduces a new section 6.1E covering:

  • fees and commissions in relation to platform service providers;
  • using a platform service for arranging and advising; and
  • re-registration of title to retail investment products.

Another new rule deals with how defined "intermediate unitholders" should provide information to the beneficial owner. FSA asks for comments by 17 February 2011 and will want to apply the new rules from January 2013 when the relevant RDR rules take effect.