Investment Related Activities in the UK

This policy sets out related activities, that are regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) in the UK.

Impact of the new UK regulatory structure

The majority of the functions of the FSA were transferred to the FCA and the PRA on 1 April 2013, following amendments tothe Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) made by the Financial Services Act 2012 (FS Act). The establishment ofthe new UK financial services regulatory structure did not directly affect the specified activities, investments or exclusions covered in this note, which has been revised to reflect the new structure.

Background to article 53 regulated activity

Advising on investments is a specified activity under article 53 of the Financial Services and Markets Act (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 (SI 2001/544) (RAO).

Giving advice on investments became a regulated activity on when the Financial Services Act 1986 (1986 Act) was introduced and was carried over into the current FSMA regime when it came into force on 1 December 2001. The article 53 RAO regulated activity of advising on investments has since then been affected by various UK Government initiatives and European legislation, including by an extension of scope to implement the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD) and, most recently, by amendments to implement in the UK the scope of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2004/39/EC) (MiFID), which came into force on 1 November 2007. The inclusion of new investments within the RAO to implement the scope of MiFID has had the effect of widening the scope of certain regulated activities, including the article 53 RAO advising activity, to cover MiFID financial instruments.

It is also possible, by virtue of article 64 of the RAO, to carry on the regulated activity of agreeing to advise on investments, as explained in Agreeing to carry on the article 53 advising activity below.

Chapter 2 of the FCA’s Perimeter Guidance manual (PERG 2) provides guidance on what amounts to the regulated activity of advising on investments, as well as on the relevant exclusions and exemptions.

Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

Some investment-related activities executed in, into or from the United Kingdom under English Law are regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) of the United Kingdom. The following statements are for the purpose of compliance with FSMA, and related regulations.

Required disclosure

We are not authorised under FSMA, but we are able, in certain circumstances, to offer a limited range of investment services to the client because we are regulated by El Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Madrid (Spanish Bar Association), do take into account our Affiliated parties in the UK, whom are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  We can provide these investment services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide.

The Law Society of England and Wales (“TLS”) is a designated professional body for the purposes of FSMA, but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from TLS’s representative functions. The SRA is the independent regulatory body of TLS.

Complaints and redress mechanisms are provided through the SRA and the Legal Ombudsman.  The timescale for referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and his contact details, are set out below under ‘Complaints’.

As we are not authorised under FSMA, we are only permitted to communicate invitations or inducements to engage in investment activities (“financial promotions”) where these have been approved by an authorised person or are exempt from the requirement for such approval. We are retained only to provide legal and, where applicable, tax and accounting advice to our clients and nothing that we say or do should be construed as investment advice to anybody on the investment merits of acquiring or disposing of particular investments or as an invitation or inducement to anybody to engage in investment activities; nor do we act as brokers of investment transactions.

In order to progress matters on which our clients retain us, we need to communicate with clients and with others involved in those matters. If in relation to any such matter anybody decides to participate in a meeting, conference call or other interactive communication involving us, we will consider that they thereby request an interactive dialogue with us in our capacity as professional advisers to our client in the course of that communication.

Referrals

Where clients seek services concerning investments which are either not incidental to our legal services or are not otherwise ones which we are able to provide, the firm may refer the clients to someone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”).

Insurance mediation concerning the UK

We are not authorised by the FCA. However, our affiliated partied in the UK are included on the register maintained by the FCA so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. The register can be accessed via the FCA web site at: http://www.fca.org.uk/register

This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the SRA.  TLS is a designated professional body for the purposes of the FSMA.  The SRA is the independent regulatory arm of TLS.