This Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) decision highlights again the high bar that it insists upon if a firm wishes to treat a client as an 'insistent client'. 

This firm clearly told the client that the proposed investment in Harlequin represented a high risk strategy. The full decision however makes it clear that in the FOS' opinion the firm did not go far enough in that it did not meet the standards required by the FCA - which is to discharge your duty to advise on suitability in accordance with COBS Rules as you would in the case of any other client to whom a personal recommendation is being provided.

The FCA have subsequently spelled this out in guidance issues in 2016 and 2017, but unfortunately for this firm that guidance was not available in 2011 when this advice was given. Furthermore, as the FCA have done in several cases, they insist that the requirements have not changed, the subsequent guidance is simply reminding firms of their obligations.