Moratorium on the distribution of particularly complex structured products

Press release

The FSMA today publishes on its site the list of credit institutions, insurance companies and investment firms that have signed on to the moratorium to date. As at 29 July 2011, all representative actors, in both the banking and insurance sectors, involved in distributing structured products have signed on to the moratorium. Some undertakings have made known their intention not to sign on since they do not distribute structured products, and hence the moratorium does not apply to them.

As regards intermediaries in banking and investment services and insurance intermediaries, close contacts with the relevant professional organizations suggest that we can count on their signing on by 1 September 2011. This later date takes into account the large number of parties concerned.

The FSMA is also publishing on its site a supplement to the FAQs relating to the moratorium on distributing structured that are products considered particularly complex. This supplement provides an answer to all the questions raised by the sector regarding the practical application of the moratorium. The publication of these FAQs should make it possible to enhance the predictability of the FSMA’s actions and to ensure equal treatment of all actors.

By way of reminder, under the terms of the moratorium (which is voluntary), distributors undertake not to distribute products that are considered particularly complex, based on a test proposed by the FSMA. The moratorium applies to products whose period of distribution begins after 1 August 2011. It does not affect products distributed before that date.

The moratorium is the first step in a process intended to lead to the adoption of a regulation on the distribution of complex products. This initial step will be followed by a public consultation on the criteria to be used in the regulation. The consultation will be launched shortly and will run until 15 October 2011. The draft regulation is expected by the end of the year.

Jean-Paul Servais, Chairman of the FSMA, stated that he was delighted that the vast majority of the actors in the financial sector have signed on to the moratorium proposed by the FSMA: “All the representative actors in both banking and insurance who distribute structured products have chosen to accede.This demonstrates that the financial sector, in a spirit of good citizenship and a sense of responsibility, seeks to draw lessons from the crisis of 2008 and to participate in the positive steps taken in order to help restore public confidence in the financial sector."