The latest figures FCA has published on its actions relating to financial promotions shows a huge increase in the numbers of ads it required firms to amend or remove in 2022 over the previous year. It required action in relation to 8,500 ads and published over 1,800 consumer alerts.
FCA has highlighted:
- its work with Big Tech companies to get them to allow only appropriately approved financial promotions – although it says these companies still need to do more to protect consumers;
- improvements it has made to its digital tools which it uses to find problem firms and misleading promotions; and
- its growing and continuing concern about “fin-fluencers”: FCA has taken action against several already. One individual was also the sole director of a firm regulated for secondary credit broking and had used their individual social media profile to promote unauthorised traders; and
- one ban it placed on an online retail broker, who it was concerned was using social media influencers to target vulnerable customers with significant debt;
- its work with regulated firms, including action it took against one firm, imposing an own-initiative requirement on a firm that was issuing and promoting SIS to investors without carrying out a preliminary assessment of suitability, and without including appropriate risk warnings in its promotions.