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FAQ FSMA approval publicity

FAQ FSMA about the approval of publicity by the FSMA

On the FSMA website, one can find, under the heading ‘Obligations as for publicity and information concerning financial products’ the “Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the approval of publicity by the FSMA”.
url: http://www.fsma.be/en/Site/Repository/faq/faq_prod.aspx

 

This entry contains among other things comment given by the FSMA about the use of a ‘standard model’ or ‘template’ for the purpose of submitting publicity for various UCIs of the same type for approval to the FSMA. During the Sales & Distro consultation meeting with the FSMA, BEAMA pleaded for the introduction of a method for standardising the feedback given by the FSMA based on the concept of a registered standard model for marketing documents (fact sheets, presentation booklets, commercial sheets, etc.). The FSMA deals with publicity containing mathematical data only or other data without any assessment of UCIs belonging to one single category and with a sufficient number of common criteria.

 

One can also find a three-step reasoning about the way to deal with publicity or marketing information as for a financial product targeted to non-professional customers.

 

In its conclusion about sending e-mails, the FSMA considers that an e-mail containing investment advice specifically aimed at a certain category of customer and hence of an individual and personal type, should not be considered to be publicity or marketing information, as the case may be, nor an ‘other document or announcement’ as laid down in the rules that apply.

By contrast, the FSMA takes the view that a standard e-mail to be sent to a group of customers, since they belong to one and the same category, and which may contain investment advice, can be seen as publicity or marketing information, as the case may be, or as an ‘other document or announcement’ as laid down in the rules that apply.

 

The FSMA has also made a modification to its 2015/16 circular of October 27, 2015 as for the recommendation concerning the online buying option of a product when dealing with websites which are purely informative and booklets in print.

In case of a buying option, the possibility of purchasing the product online by clicking on a logo or a phrase such as “online registration” or “opening of an account” must be placed at the bottom of the last page of the basic information. In this way, one wants to be sure that non-professional customers will have read all of the pages containing the basic information before they decide to buy the product or open an account.

This recommendation has been removed, because in practice it is difficult to put the explanation about the various ways of registering (by telephone, e-mail, online, at a branch, etc.) underneath the basic information as for websites which are purely informative or booklets in print.