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Starters, mains and a side order of inducement: why that extra bottle could land you in trouble

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20.09.2021

Many financial services sector city workers who have been working from home over the last eighteen months are now emerging butterfly-like from their home-office chrysalis and returning to the office. Enthusiasm and appetite for the working lunch have also returned, with socialising around work firmly back on the menu. It is not surprising to read that several restaurants across UK cities had an up to 350 per cent increase in lunch bookings in the last month.

Whilst savouring a hot meal with colleagues or clients (and perhaps a glass, or even a bottle, of wine) is a welcome change from a microwave meal in a spare bedroom, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-regulated firms would do well to remind their employees that client hospitality must be business-focused and comply with the FCA’s inducement rules.

The exact rules applicable vary with a firm’s permitted scope of regulated activities, but broadly, the FCA defines an inducement as a benefit (monetary or non-monetary) offered to a firm, or any person acting on its behalf, with a view to that firm or person adopting a particular course of action.

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© City A.M.


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