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Proposed FSA restrictions won't affect fine wine investors

Published:  07 September, 2012

Proposals by the FSA to restrict how Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes are promoted will have no effect on fine wine investors, say experts.

The watchdog is consulting over whether financial advisers should be banned from promoting UCIS, which can include hundreds of products including fine wine.

Peter Shakeshaft, managing director of Vin-X, told Harpers: "The FSA is talking about suitability of UCIS for individuals of less than £250,000."

While he said it may be "elitist" to decide such individulas weren't sophisticated enough to invest in the schemes, "fine wine investing is completely separate". He said the proposed measures would have "zero effect on fine wine" and that suggestions that the move represented a clampdown were "completely ridiculous".

A spokesman for the FSA said the proposals would restrict financial advisers but wouldn't have an effect on individuals buying fine wine as that was "outside of its remit". "You can still invest in en primeur wines, or wine as a product or bottles that are laid down. What it would prevent is financial advisors promoting a wine fund to investors worth less than £250,000."

He said wealthy individuals could continue to invest through their advisors, while individuals would be free to buy wine outside from the regular channels. "We can't ban people from investing in wine and we do not regulate wine," he added.

Shakeshaft said his firm had joined forces with five others to create the Wine Investment Association, a regulatory body with the aim of safeguarding private investors. It is due to launch in the autumn.