New data published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reveals that the regulator blocked over 8,000 misleading advertisements and promotions during 2022.
The data confirmed that the FCA blocked 8,582 misleading promotions in 2022, which was 14 times more than in 2021.
Firms that post promotional and false information concerning investments, traders, and financial products have been required to take them down thanks to the financial watchdog. The FCA has also required Big Tech companies adjust their advertising strategies to avoid being taken down.
The FCA has placed focus on protecting unwary consumers that are susceptible to online payment scams and misleading advertising due to the dire state of the cost-of-living crisis. The UK regulator aims to instate harsher limitations for financial promotions to deter unauthorised ‘fin-fluencers’ that are taking advantage of consumers.
The ScamSmart campaign is part of the FCA’s movement to ensure consumers are aware of threats online and deceptive information spread by tech companies and financial firms.
Sarah Pritchard, executive director of markets, commented: “Our expectations remain the same. Financial promotions must be fair, clear and not misleading. What has changed is the FCA’s approach. By drawing on better technology, we’re finding poor quality or misleading ads quicker. And where we find them, we’re stepping in to make firms improve them or remove them entirely. This year, we will continue to put the pressure on people using social media to illegally promote investments, which put people’s hard-earned money at risk.”
In 2022, the FCA announced plans to place more screening measures on financial promotions to curb deceptive marketing from firms.