New guidelines on organisational requirements and operating procedures for investment firms, banks and other investment service providers were issued by the Finnish FSA with effect from 1 September 2019. The new guidelines provide updated requirements on investor protection, including detailed rules on safeguarding of client assets, product approval process and governance in general as well as more stringent rules on inducements. The guidelines follow the implementation of the Delegated Directive (EU) 2017/593 on safeguarding of financial instruments and funds belonging to clients, product governance obligations and the rules applicable to the provision or reception of fees.
The new guidelines also establish the appropriate minimum level of professional experience for persons providing investment advice or advice on investment services and ancillary services, as well as for persons monitoring new employees. While the level of appropriate professional knowledge will continued to be determined by the investment firm itself, the Finnish FSA guidelines make a direct reference to the ESMA guidelines for the assessment of knowledge and competence (ESMA/2015/1886).
In its press release on the publication of the new guidelines, the Finnish FSA also announced that it is considering further updates to its guidelines on marketing of financial services and products as well as fit & proper standards and reporting.