Tuesday, 20 September 2011

UK: England and Wales: giving advice or providing information?

The High Court gave judgment earlier this month in Rubenstein v HSBC Bank Plc [2011] EWHC 2304 (QB). Amongst the matters considered, in the context of a claim for the alleged mis-selling of a financial product, was the difference between the giving of advice and the provision of information. The trial judge was reluctant to provide a comprehensive definition of what would constitute the giving of advice in an investment context, but nevertheless suggested (at para. [82]):

... the starting point of any inquiry as to whether what was said by an IFA in a particular situation did or did not amount to advice is to look at the inquiry to which he was responding. If a client asks for a recommendation, any response is likely to be regarded as advice unless there is an express disclaimer to the effect that advice is not being given. On the other hand, if a client makes a purely factual inquiry such as "What corporate bonds are currently yielding X%?" or "How does this structured product work?", it is not difficult to conclude that a reply which simply provides the relevant information is no more than that."

No comments: