Professionals

6. May the investment policy mentioned in the key information document for a UCI be included in full in an advertising document?

Article 12, § 1, 4°, a) of the Royal Decree of 25 April 2014 imposing certain information obligations when distributing financial products to retail clients provides that all advertising materials must contain a succinct indication of the investment or savings objective. For a UCI1, the succinct indication of the investment objective generally corresponds to the investment policy included in the UCI's key information document.

The following rules must, however, also be complied with:

  • A UCI may not use the terms 'guaranteed capital' or 'protected capital' or 'capital protection' or any equivalent term in an announcement, advertisement or other document relating to a public offer of units, or that announces or recommends it, unless the conditions laid down in Article 138 of the Royal Decree of 12 November 2012 on undertakings for collective investment that fulfil the conditions of Directive 2009/65/EC or in Article 92 of the Royal Decree of 25 February 2017 on certain alternative investment funds and their management companies and containing various provisions are fulfilled2.
  • The information contained in advertisements may not be misleading or inaccurate3. Thus, point 3.3.3. of Circular FSMA_2015_16 of 27/10/2015 (French or Dutch) on the rules governing advertising when distributing financial products to retail clients, the aim of which is to define the scope of the non-misleading nature of advertisements, states that the FSMA recommends that advertisements not include any subjective assessments that are not supported by an independent outside source and that are liable, directly or indirectly, to create a positive feeling about a specific product being marketed.
  • The information contained in advertisements must be presented in a way that is comprehensible to retail clients4.

The FSMA considers, however, that in the light of Articles 78 to 80 of Directive 2009/65/EC5 and of Article 11, 5° of the aforesaid Royal Decree of 25 April 2014, the investment policy mentioned in the key information document of a UCI may be included in full (without changes, additions or omissions) in an advertising document without having to adapt it and without having to describe the terms used therein (see aforementioned rules), provided the advertising document specifies that this is the investment policy mentioned in the key information document and that it indicates clearly, where applicable, that the capital and/or return is(are) not guaranteed or protected. However, the aforesaid applies solely to the mention of the investment policy contained in the key information document. The rules set out above will therefore continue to apply to any other information contained in the advertising document.


1 The term UCI refers, in these FAQs, to undertakings for collective investment meeting the conditions of Directive 2009/65/EC and open-ended public alternative investment funds or their sub-funds and share classes, where applicable.
2 See Art. 138 and 219, § 4 of the aforesaid Royal Decree of 12 November 2012 and Art. 92 and 163, § 1 of the aforesaid Royal Decree of 25 February 2017.
3 See Article 11, 1° of the aforesaid Royal Decree of 25 April 2014.
4 See Article 11, 6° of the aforesaid Royal Decree of 25 April 2014.
5 Directive 2009/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS).