FCA warns firms and ‘finfluencers’ to keep their social media ads lawful

Guidance for memes, reels and gaming streams promoting financial services has been published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last week. The FCA has set out how adverts across social media channels must be fair, clear and not misleading, meaning they must have balance and carry the right risk warnings so people can make well informed financial decisions.  

Social media has become a central part of firms’ marketing strategies. Firms are on the hook for all their promotions and the FCA has warned they need to ensure influencers they work with communicate to their followers in the right way.

And influencers are reminded that promoting a financial product without the right approval from an FCA-authorised person could be a criminal offence. Consumers need to be alert to dubious adverts and scams online, but it is important that influencers ensure they’re on the right side of the rules and consider what would happen to their own reputations if they’re found to promote products illegally.

Lucy Castledine, Director of Consumer Investments at the FCA, said:

“Any marketing for financial products must be fair, clear and not misleading so consumers can invest, save or borrow with confidence.

“Promotions aren’t just about the likes, they’re about the law. We will take action against those touting financial products illegally.”

Firms have been urged by the FCA about the need to consider whether a platform that offers limited characters or space is the right place to do so. Scrutiny of financial promotions has been ramped up and last year the FCA say they removed over 10,000 misleading adverts, up from 8,500 in 2022.

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