UK Watchdog Issues Guidance on Social Media Ads for Financial Products

March 27, 2024
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The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued new guidance outlining guidance specifically tailored for memes, reels, and gaming streams that promote financial services.

The guidelines emphasize the need for these ads to be clear, fair, and non-misleading, ensuring consumers have the necessary information to make informed financial decisions.

Additionally, the latest guidance supplements existing regulations governing the advertising of high-risk investments, including cryptocurrencies.

The FCA highlights the responsibility of financial firms to ensure their promotions, including those made by influencers, are compliant with regulations. Influencers, particularly those promoting financial products, are reminded that doing so without proper authorization from an FCA-approved entity could constitute a criminal offense.

Lucy Castledine, Director of Consumer Investments at the FCA, emphasized the imperative of fair and transparent marketing practices in the financial sector. “Any marketing for financial products must be fair, clear and not misleading so consumers can invest, save, or borrow with confidence,” she said.

Castledine reiterated the FCA’s commitment to taking decisive action against those engaging in unlawful promotion of financial products.

Recognizing the limitations of social media platforms for conveying complex financial information due to character constraints, the FCA advised firms to assess the suitability of such platforms for promotional activities.

The advisory comes amid heightened scrutiny of financial promotions, with the FCA reporting the removal of over 10,000 misleading adverts in the past year. This marked a significant increase from previous years.

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