PR agencies face fines under FSA draft code

PR agencies could be fined for abusing privileged information or issuing misleading information, according to a draft code for London markets drawn up by City watchdog, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

PR agencies could be fined for abusing privileged information or

issuing misleading information, according to a draft code for London

markets drawn up by City watchdog, the Financial Services Authority

(FSA).



The FSA code of conduct will bring increased regulation of financial PR

consultancies and in-house departments. The FSA proposes to fine

offenders variable amounts. Penalties will depend on factors such as the

nature of alleged misconduct, the level of loss involved and the costs

of recovering and distributing compensation.



The code will apply to agencies and companies dealing with six London

markets including the London Stock Exchange, London Securities

Derivatives Exchange, the London Metal Exchange and the London

International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE).



The IPR’s City and Financial Group welcomed the code.



Stewart Prosser, chairman of the Group, said: ’This code will put PR in

line with other City advisers, such as brokers, bankers and accountants,

who are subject to even higher standards of regulation via

self-regulating organisations.’



The IPR will be pushing for specific wording in the final code to make

its link to PR professionals more explicit.



Leader, p9.



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