FCA sounds warning over financial promotions failings

The FCA has raised concerns over financial promotions saying some are still falling short of rules and are not doing enough to ensure adverts do not mislead customers.

FCA rules state that all financial promotions must be clear, fair and not misleading for consumers.

In an update on its review of financial promotions, the regulator gave several examples of firms failing to meet its requirements.

  • Advertisements for fee-paying debt management firms that did not make it clear that services are not free of charge
  • Promotions that guaranteed firms would provide credit regardless of customers’ circumstances
  • A logbook lender who provided misleading information about its APR, made unclear comparisons between its rates and those of other lenders, and implied its services were endorsed by the FCA
  • Internet search terms that took consumers to unrelated sponsored links, for example, a search for ‘government debt help’ returned a sponsored link for a loan, potentially misleading people to believe the firm was offering government assistance when this was not the case.

The FCA acts on complaints received from the public, the Advertising Standards Authority and other organisations.

FCA director of supervision Clive Adamson says: “It is important that all firms ensure financial promotions are fair, clear and not misleading so that customers are able to make informed decisions. We are disappointed to see standards fall short of what we expect, particularly in the consumer credit space, four months from when we took over regulation.

”We believe that firms in this sector can do more to ensure financial promotions meet the standards we would expect and will continue to monitor performance in this area.”