FCA Publishes Financial Promotions Data for Q3 2021

The FCA has published its quarterly data which reveals the number of financial promotions that have been amended or withdrawn due to non-compliance with its rules.

In quarter 3 (Q3) of this year the FCA reviewed 514 financial promotions. These included promotions identified through both complaints received and the regulator’s proactive work carried out to ensure that any promotions meet its requirements i.e. that financial promotions are ‘clear, fair and not misleading’.

Below is the breakdown of how these reports originated:

  • 51% of reports were received from consumers
  • 25% of reports were received from internal areas of FCA
  • 16% of reports were received from UK Regulators
  • 2% of reports related to the FCA’s proactive monitoring
  • 6% of reports were received from firms

During Q3, 26 cases resulted in 74 promotions being amended or withdrawn as a result of the FCA’s intervention. It is worth noting that 69% of the amend/withdraw outcomes related to either website or social media promotions.

Here are a few things firms need to consider when it comes to financial promotions…

  • Financial promotions can take many forms, including websites and social media posts (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) – so don’t overlook your online presence and any social media channels.
  • All financial promotions, regardless of the media type, must be clear, fair and not misleading – customers must be able to make an informed choice.
  • Ensuring a financial promotion is clear fair and not misleading will involve considering its presentation (i.e. avoid ‘small print’) and its substance (i.e. can any claims made be verified?)
  • The FCA does not approve advertising and it is for firms themselves to ensure that their financial promotions are compliant – a financial promotion should be formally approved and recorded by an appropriate person within the firm before it is issued.
  • If the FCA finds that a promotion misleading, it has powers to ban the promotion, ask the firm to change or remove the promotion, ask the firm to write to customers who have been misled, and warn or fine the firm.

For those signed up to the Aviva Development Zone, there’s still time to attempt October’s ‘Regulatory Spotlight’ quiz which focuses on financial promotions. Why not test your knowledge today?

If you need advice on any of the above, please contact your RWA Business Manager or email helpdesk@rwagroup.co.uk.

About the author

Kirk joined RWA in 2015, having worked in the financial services sector for many years. He started out in both the general insurance and mortgage advice arms of HSBC, before becoming the Compliance Officer at Go Compare and Training & Competence Manager at Optimum Credit. 

At RWA, Kirk is Deputy Head of Compliance. He supports RWA clients by looking after their compliance, training and competence needs and keeping them up to date with regulatory changes. He promotes the achievement of fair customer outcomes and specialises in designing and implementing T&C schemes for firms of all sizes.

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