As retail investors, in general, may not fully appreciate the high risks associated with the transactions facilitated through a PFP, the FSRA intends to restrict the accessibility to PFPs under the PFP Framework to primarily Professional Clients.
PFP Operators generally do not provide financial advisory services to clients. Under these circumstances, the onus is on clients to seek independent financial advice or to make their own evaluation of the risks associated with any potential loan or investment. Professional Clients are considered to be more sophisticated and have more resources and capacity to make informed decisions on prospective debt and equity instruments offered through a PFP after considering the inherent risks.
There may be instances where a PFP Operator would like to offer its services to potential, sophisticated clients who do not meet the current financial criteria to be classified as a Professional Client. The FSRA may consider allowing the participation of these clients where the FSRA considers them able to adequately understand the risks associated with PFP Transactions, based on their knowledge, skills and experience. In such circumstances, the FSRA may impose other appropriate conditions or safeguards upon the PFP Operator. Further, the PFP Operator’s FSP must permit it to deal with Retail Clients.
All clients must be pre-screened and on-boarded by the PFP Operator, in accordance with COBS Chapter 2, before being given access to the PFP.