On 5 May 2023, the FCA published financial promotions quarterly data 2023 Q1.
The data provides an overview of how the FCA are working to improve standards across the markets so that consumers are provided with clear and fair financial promotions which are not misleading. The data covers the period between 1 January 2023 and 31 March 2023.
The report highlights the following key messages from the data:
- The FCA’s interventions in 2023 Q1 resulted in 2,235 promotions being amended/withdrawn by authorised firms.
- The FCA issued 611 alerts on unauthorised firms and individuals, with 12% of these about clone scams.
- Given the rising cost of living the FCA did some work focussed on unauthorised and authorised firms who offered debt advice which resulted in 9 alerts being issued, and the FCA imposed voluntary requirements on 2 firms.
- The FCA took action against a firm using a trading name, which could potentially mislead consumers into thinking that the firm was a not-for-profit organisation or part of a government scheme. Firms should not use misleading trading names.
- The FCA reviewed the marketing and promotion of speculative illiquid securities, including mini-bonds where they found that some investments are being ‘rolled over’. Some investors were also being wrongly categorised as high net worth or sophisticated.
- Retail investments and retail lending are the sectors with the highest amend/withdraw outcomes, totalling 90% of the FCA’s interventions with authorised firms.