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4 February 2022

Please find the full publication (including all data entries) at the FCA here.


 

This page analyses the latest data, from January 2021 to 31 December 2021, resulting from action taken against authorised firms breaching financial promotion rules and referrals and investigations into unregulated activity.

In line with our Consumer Investments Strategy, publishing this data allows us to be transparent about the outcomes we’re seeking to achieve with our financial promotions interventions and the results of our work. The strategy sets out the steps that we are taking to be more innovative, assertive and adaptive in tackling harm. This includes strengthening the financial promotions regime. However, it should be noted that this data relates to financial promotions across all sectors, not just consumer investments.

The data also means we can monitor developments in the market, to get insights into particular sectors we have concerns about and act to prevent consumers from harm.

What’s included in the data

  • key messages for regulated and unregulated financial promotion activity
  • number of financial promotions reviewed during this period
  • number of cases with promotions amended and withdrawn including split across sectors, this relates to closed cases and excludes cases which are still ongoing
  • number of unauthorised reports received and alerts issued
  • how we act

Key messages

  • In relation to authorised firms, last year saw an increase in approx. 300 amends/withdrawals of promotions, compared to around the same number of cases as 2020:
    • retail investments and retail lending are the sectors with the highest amend/withdraw outcomes, amounting to 77% of our interventions with authorised firms
    • some of the most common breaches were in the Retail Lending sector, in particular Claims Management Companies’ and Retail Finance promotions
    • retail investments’ use of social media influencers on various platforms to market investments is becoming a concern for us. Firms should ensure they have taken appropriate legal advice to understand their responsibilities prior to using influencers.
  • In relation to illegal financial promotions by unauthorised persons, last year saw an overall increase of 10% of total reports received compared with 2020:
    • we issued 1410 alerts about unauthorised firms and individuals in 2021, an increase of 18% from 2020, with 30% of these related to clone scams
    • we have seen a significant reduction in non-compliant paid for advertisements by unauthorised entities on Google since our engagement and the implementation of their new financial services ad policy

By David Petty

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