On August 5, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued temporary product intervention rules introducing restrictions on the ability of authorized persons to distribute contingent convertible instruments (CoCos) to retail investors. In its first use of new consumer protection powers, the FCA has underscored the complex nature of, and risks associated with, CoCos.

The temporary rules restrict all authorized persons from selling, promoting or intermediating transactions in CoCos (specifically those that are eligible as Additional Tier 1 or Tier 2 capital under Regulation (EU) No. 575/2013 (CRR)), where such transactions result in retail investors owning the CoCos. The rules will not impact the distribution of CoCos to professional or institutional clients, or to exempt persons. These new rules will apply from October 1, and will last for 12 months.   

The FCA intends to publish a consultation paper about proposed permanent rules on CoCos in the fall.  

For more information about the risks of these instruments, click here and here

For more information about the FCA’s temporary product intervention rules, click here.