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FCA stops thousands of misleading ads and promotions

Summary of Development

More than 10,000 financial advertisements and other promotions were withdrawn or changed in 2023 following intervention from the FCA, an increase of 17% year-on-year. The regulator also published 2,285 alerts (up from 1800 in 2022) to prevent consumers losing money to scams.

After being given new powers by the Government, the FCA has focused on illegal cryptoasset promotions to UK consumers, issuing 450 consumer alerts between 8 October 2023 and 31 December 2023.

The regulator has highlighted its concerns over a rise in influencers promoting financial products including credit and investments on social media, which often targets younger age groups.

FCA director of consumer investments Lucy Castledine said ‘People need clear, fair and accurate information to base their financial decisions on. We will continue to intervene and take action when we identify firms not meeting our minimum standards.’

As of 7 February 2024, authorised firms need permission from the FCA if they want to approve promotions for unregulated persons. This ensures firms approving financial promotions have the required competence and expertise for the promotions being offered.  

This is underpinned by the Consumer Duty which came into force in July 2023. The Consumer Duty requires firms to demonstrate that they are providing consumers with information which helps them to make effective and informed decisions about financial products and services.