The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has sent a letter to all providers and distributors of contracts for difference (CFD) products to retail customers to ensure they understand their obligations.
The FCA said its review uncovered areas of serious concern that it wanted to highlight to firms across the industry.
The review looked at where firms offer these complex, high-risk instruments to retail customers on either an advisory or discretionary (including limited power of attorney) portfolio management basis.
The review assessed both the conduct of firms which provide the CFD service (the 'providers') and the organisations that distribute the product and deal with the end consumer (the 'distributors').
The FCA said it wanted to ensure that firms:
- Deliver CFD products to the intended target market
- Pay due regard to the interests of customers and treat them fairly