This Policy Statement (PS) sets out our response to the feedback received to our Consultation Paper CP18/40 Consultation on proposed amendment of COBS 21.3 permitted links rules in our Conduct of Business (COBS) sourcebook. It also sets out the final rules and guidance we are publishing following the consultation.
We are seeking to address any unjustified barriers to retail investors investing in a broader range of long-term assets in unit-linked funds, while maintaining an appropriate degree of investor protection.
They follow recommendations by the Law Commission and engagement with the Treasury’s Pension Scheme Investments Taskforce regarding potential regulatory barriers to investment in some less liquid or illiquid assets. This includes, for example, investment in infrastructure, loans secured on infrastructure assets and some less liquid securities.
This PS will affect those who have an interest in investing in illiquid or higher risk assets via unit-linked funds. It will therefore be of interest to:
We are publishing final rules with this Policy Statement. Firms wishing to make use of the new conditional permitted links will need to ensure compliance with these rules with effect from 4 March 2020.