This Prospectus comprises a base prospectus for the purposes of Article 5.4 of Directive 2003/71/EC (the Prospectus Directive).
The Issuer accepts responsibility for the information contained in this Prospectus. To the best of the knowledge of the Issuer (having taken all reasonable care to ensure that such is the case), the information contained in this Prospectus is in accordance with the facts and does not omit anything likely to affect the import of such information.
Subject as provided in the applicable Final Terms, the only persons authorised to use this Prospectus in connection with an offer of Notes are the persons named in the applicable Final Terms as the relevant Dealer or the Managers, as the case may be.
This Prospectus is to be read in conjunction with all documents which are deemed to be incorporated herein by reference (see "Documents Incorporated by Reference"). This Prospectus shall be read and construed on the basis that such documents are incorporated and form part of this Prospectus.
Neither the Dealers nor the Trustee have independently verified the information contained herein. Accordingly, no representation, warranty or undertaking, express or implied, is made and no responsibility or liability is accepted by the Dealers or the Trustee as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained or incorporated in this Prospectus or any other information provided by the Issuer in connection with the Programme. No Dealer or the Trustee accepts any liability in relation to the information contained or incorporated by reference in this Prospectus or any other information provided by the Issuer in connection with the Programme. No person is or has been authorised by the Issuer or the Trustee to give any information or to make any representation not contained in or not consistent with this Prospectus or any other information supplied in connection with the Programme or the Notes and, if given or made, such information or representation must not be relied upon as having been authorised by the Issuer, any of the Dealers or the Trustee.
Neither this Prospectus nor any other information supplied in connection with the Programme or any Notes (a) is intended to provide the basis of any credit or other evaluation or (b) should be considered as a recommendation by the Issuer, any of the Dealers or the Trustee that any recipient of this Prospectus or any other information supplied in connection with the Programme or any Notes should purchase any Notes. Each investor contemplating purchasing any Notes should make its own independent investigation of the financial condition and affairs, and its own appraisal of the creditworthiness, of the Issuer. Neither this Prospectus nor any other information supplied in connection with the Programme or the issue of any Notes constitutes an offer or invitation by or on behalf of the Issuer, any of the Dealers or the Trustee to any person to subscribe for or to purchase any Notes.
Neither the delivery of this Prospectus nor the offering, sale or delivery of any Notes shall in any circumstances imply that the information contained herein concerning the Issuer is correct at any time subsequent to the date hereof or that any other information supplied in connection with the Programme is correct as of any time subsequent to the date indicated in the document containing the same. The Dealers and the Trustee expressly do not undertake to review the financial condition or affairs of the Issuer during the life of the Programme or to advise any investor in the Notes of any information coming to their attention.
The Notes have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the Securities Act) and are subject to U.S. tax law requirements. Subject to certain exceptions, Notes may not be offered, sold or delivered within the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. persons (see "Subscription and Sale").
This Prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any Notes in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make the offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction. The distribution of this Prospectus and the offer or sale of Notes may be restricted by law in certain jurisdictions. None of the Issuer, the Dealers and the Trustee represents that this Prospectus may be lawfully distributed, or that any Notes may be lawfully offered, in compliance with any applicable registration or other requirements in any such jurisdiction, or pursuant to an exemption available thereunder, or assumes any responsibility for facilitating any such distribution or offering. In particular, no action has been taken by the Issuer, the Dealers or the Trustee which is intended to permit a public offering of any Notes or distribution of this Prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. Accordingly, no Notes may be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, and neither this Prospectus nor any advertisement or other offering material may be distributed or published in any jurisdiction, except under circumstances that will result in compliance with any applicable laws and regulations. Persons into whose possession this Prospectus or any Notes may come must inform themselves about, and observe, any such restrictions on the distribution of this Prospectus and the offering and sale of Notes. In particular, there are restrictions on the distribution of this Prospectus and the offer or sale of Notes in the United States, the European Economic Area (including the United Kingdom and Denmark) and Japan, see "Subscription and Sale".
This Prospectus has been prepared on the basis that any offer of Notes in any Member State of the European Economic Area which has implemented the Prospectus Directive (each, a Relevant Member State) will be made pursuant to an exemption under the Prospectus Directive, as implemented in that Relevant Member State, from the requirement to publish a prospectus for offers of Notes. Accordingly any person making or intending to make an offer in that Relevant Member State of Notes which are the subject of an offering contemplated in this Prospectus as completed by final terms in relation to the offer of those Notes may only do so in circumstances in which no obligation arises for the Issuer or any Dealer to publish a prospectus pursuant to Article 3 of the Prospectus Directive or supplement a prospectus pursuant to Article 16 of the Prospectus Directive, in each case, in relation to such offer.
Neither the Issuer nor any Dealer has authorised, nor do any of them authorise, the making of any offer of Notes in circumstances in which an obligation arises for the Issuer or any Dealer to publish or supplement a prospectus for such offer.
In this document, all references to U.S. dollars, USD, U.S.$ and $ refer to United States dollars, all references to Sterling, GBP and £ refer to pounds sterling and all references to euro, EUR and € refer to the currency introduced at the start of the third stage of European economic and monetary union pursuant to the Treaty establishing the European Community, as amended.