Financial services companies flout ad rules

The Financial Services Consumer Panel says that financial services companies are still flouting industry advertising rules. The panel says that almost half of all adverts for investment products still do not comply with Financial Services Authority rules, a figure unchanged from two years ago.

The panel says its research shows “numerous” minor and medium risk breaches which received no warning from the FSA, or public censure. It found 42% of investment product advertising and 43% of mortgage product advertising did not meet FSA standards.

Adam Phillips, acting chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, says: “The FSA needs to do more publicly in this area and be true to its principle of being an open and transparent regulator. Then firms will be able to see clearly where the standards are set.”

The panel has also called on the FSA to publish details of promotions and adverts that do not reach the standards “as soon as they are identified” through Ofcom and the ASA.

Phillips adds: “We undertook similar research two years ago and found over 50% of ads did not come up to FSA standards. Since then the FSA has increased its resources, but with the exception of insurance advertising, things have not improved.”

The FSA published a review of price comparison sites today (May 9), where it urged insurance comparison sites not to mislead customers.

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