5a. Investment firms shall provide all information required to be provided by this Directive to clients or potential clients in electronic format, except where the client or potential client is a retail client or potential retail client who has requested receiving the information on paper, in which case that information shall be provided on paper, free of charge.
Investment firms shall inform retail clients or potential retail clients that they have the option of receiving the information on paper.
Investment firms shall inform existing retail clients that receive the information required to be provided by this Directive on paper of the fact that they will receive that information in electronic format at least eight weeks before sending that information in electronic format. Investment firms shall inform those existing retail clients that they have the choice either to continue receiving information on paper or to switch to information in electronic format. Investment firms shall also inform existing retail clients that an automatic switch to the electronic format will occur if they do not request the continuation of the provision of the information on paper within that eight week period. Existing retail clients who already receive the information required to be provided by this Directive in electronic format do not need to be informed.
6. Where an investment service is offered as part of a financial product which is already subject to other provisions of Union law relating to credit institutions and consumer credits with respect to information requirements, that service shall not be additionally subject to the obligations set out in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5.
7. Where an investment firm informs the client that investment advice is provided on an independent basis, that investment firm shall:
(a) assess a sufficient range of financial instruments available on the market which must be sufficiently diverse with regard to their type and issuers or product providers to ensure that the client’s investment objectives can be suitably met and must not be limited to financial instruments issued or provided by:
(i) the investment firm itself or by entities having close links with the investment firm; or
(ii) other entities with which the investment firm has such close legal or economic relationships, such as contractual relationships, as to pose a risk of impairing the independent basis of the advice provided;
(b) not accept and retain fees, commissions or any monetary or non-monetary benefits paid or provided by any third party or a person acting on behalf of a third party in relation to the provision of the service to clients. Minor non-monetary benefits that are capable of enhancing the quality of service provided to a client and are of a scale and nature such that they could not be judged to impair compliance with the investment firm’s duty to act in the best interest of the client must be clearly disclosed and are excluded from this point.
8. When providing portfolio management the investment firm shall not accept and retain fees, commissions or any monetary or non-monetary benefits paid or provided by any third party or a person acting on behalf of a third party in relation to the provision of the service to clients. Minor non-monetary benefits that are capable of enhancing the quality of service provided to a client and are of a scale and nature such that they could not be judged to impair compliance with the investment firm’s duty to act in the best interest of the client shall be clearly disclosed and are excluded from this paragraph.
9. Member States shall ensure that investment firms are regarded as not fulfilling their obligations under Article 23 or under paragraph 1 of this Article where they pay or are paid any fee or commission, or provide or are provided with any non-monetary benefit in connection with the provision of an investment service or an ancillary service, to or by any party except the client or a person on behalf of the client, other than where the payment or benefit:
(a) is designed to enhance the quality of the relevant service to the client; and
(b) does not impair compliance with the investment firm’s duty to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interest of its clients.
The existence, nature and amount of the payment or benefit referred to in the first subparagraph, or, where the amount cannot be ascertained, the method of calculating that amount, must be clearly disclosed to the client, in a manner that is comprehensive, accurate and understandable, prior to the provision of the relevant investment or ancillary service. Where applicable, the investment firm shall also inform the client on mechanisms for transferring to the client the fee, commission, monetary or non-monetary benefit received in relation to the provision of the investment or ancillary service.
The payment or benefit which enables or is necessary for the provision of investment services, such as custody costs, settlement and exchange fees, regulatory levies or legal fees, and which by its nature cannot give rise to conflicts with the investment firm’s duties to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of its clients, is not subject to the requirements set out in the first subparagraph.
9a. Member States shall ensure that the provision of research by third parties to investment firms providing portfolio management or other investment or ancillary services to clients is to be regarded as fulfilling the obligations under paragraph 1 if:
(a) before the execution or research services have been provided, an agreement has been entered into between the investment firm and the research provider, identifying the part of any combined charges or joint payments for execution services and research that is attributable to research;
(b) the investment firm informs its clients about the joint payments for execution services and research made to the third party providers of research; and
(c) the research for which the combined charges or the joint payment is made concerns issuers whose market capitalisation for the period of 36 months preceding the provision of the research did not exceed EUR 1 billion, as expressed by end-year quotes for the years when they are or were listed or by the own-capital for the financial years when they are or were not listed.
For the purpose of this Article, research shall be understood as covering research material or services concerning one or several financial instruments or other assets, or the issuers or potential issuers of financial instruments, or as covering research material or services closely related to a specific industry or market such that it informs views on financial instruments, assets or issuers within that industry or market.
Research shall also comprise material or services that explicitly or implicitly recommend or suggest an investment strategy and provide a substantiated opinion as to the present or future value or price of financial instruments or assets, or otherwise contain analysis and original insights and reach conclusions based on new or existing information that could be used to inform an investment strategy and be relevant and capable of adding value to the investment firm’s decisions on behalf of clients being charged for that research.
10. An investment firm which provides investment services to clients shall ensure that it does not remunerate or assess the performance of its staff in a way that conflicts with its duty to act in the best interests of its clients. In particular, it shall not make any arrangement by way of remuneration, sales targets or otherwise that could provide an incentive to its staff to recommend a particular financial instrument to a retail client when the investment firm could offer a different financial instrument which would better meet that client’s needs.
11. When an investment service is offered together with another service or product as part of a package or as a condition for the same agreement or package, the investment firm shall inform the client whether it is possible to buy the different components separately and shall provide for a separate evidence of the costs and charges of each component.
Where the risks resulting from such an agreement or package offered to a retail client are likely to be different from the risks associated with the components taken separately, the investment firm shall provide an adequate description of the different components of the agreement or package and the way in which its interaction modifies the risks.
ESMA, in cooperation with EBA and EIOPA, shall develop by 3 January 2016, and update periodically, guidelines for the assessment and the supervision of cross-selling practices indicating, in particular, situations in which cross-selling practices are not compliant with obligations laid down in paragraph 1.
12. Member States may, in exceptional cases, impose additional requirements on investment firms in respect of the matters covered by this Article. Such requirements must be objectively justified and proportionate so as to address specific risks to investor protection or to market integrity which are of particular importance in the circumstances of the market structure of that Member State.
Member States shall notify the Commission of any requirement which they intend to impose in accordance with this paragraph without undue delay and at least two months before the date appointed for that requirement to come into force. The notification shall include a justification for that requirement. Any such additional requirements shall not restrict or otherwise affect the rights of investment firms under Articles 34 and 35 of this Directive.
The Commission shall within two months from the notification referred to in the second subparagraph provide its opinion on the proportionality of and justification for the additional requirements.
The Commission shall communicate to Member States and make public on its website the additional requirements imposed in accordance with this paragraph.
Member States may retain additional requirements that were notified to the Commission in accordance with Article 4 of Directive 2006/73/EC before 2 July 2014 provided that the conditions laid down in that Article are met.