Regulatory compliance

According to the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s guidelines on financial marketing communications, all written content should be fair, accurate and not misleading. That means explaining your point of view using everyday language and following some straightforward guidelines.

Write relevant content

In the first instance, make sure the level of complexity is appropriate for your target audience. If you are writing for retail investors, the content should be easy to understand by people with only basic financial knowledge. Avoid jargon and write out in full any acronyms or abbreviations at the first mention. When writing for institutional investors, the content can be more complex but respect your readers by writing clearly and concisely.

State your opinions

Avoid promissory statements, such as “interest rates will rise later this year”. Instead, write “we believe interest rates will rise” or “interest rates are likely to rise”. Make sure you can back up your views and analysis to your legal and compliance department and provide sources for all data, including charts and tables.

Show balanced performance

When you show the track record of a fund or strategy, the returns should stretch back for at least five years or since launch. Do not cherry pick past performance. If you cover a selection of investment ideas that worked out well, provide balance with some that went wrong and explain why.

Use appropriate disclaimers

It is not appropriate to use generic disclaimers across all your financial communications. They must be relevant to the specific piece of content and not excessively long.

Working together, InvestorComs can help you follow these rules to ensure your investment publications, factsheets, marketing brochures, adverts and webpages meet the required standards.