Financial regulator signals new marketing rules

Financial services marketers look likely to be subject to new rules regulating promotions and product labelling. 

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Financial Conduct Authority to review rules regulating promotions and product labelling.

The Financial Conduct Authority, which will takeover regulation of the consumer credit market from tomorrow (1 April), has outlined its plans for the 12 months to 1 April 2014 including announcing several reviews that will impact marketers in the sector.

The watchdog highlights “improving financial promotions” as a key priority in its first year to “to ensure they are not misleading, unclear or unfair”. No further details were offered but areas could include balance transfer offers and other switch incentives.

Elsewhere, the FCA says it will clampdown on “complex” terms and conditions that limit a customers’ ability to switch accounts. It will review whether “complex” T&Cs are “compounded by marketing material or product labelling that makes it difficult for consumers to compare products or does not reflect the complexity of the product”.

The regulator also reiterated its plans for the payday loan industry including “identifying and addressing poor financial promotions”. The FCA said last week it would insist payday lenders “better signpost debt advice” and issue “simpler risk warnings”. The FCA’s proposals were criticised by a group of MPs for not taking tougher action on the advertising of payday loans.

The FCA replaces the Financial Services Authority, taking on oversight of banks and others offering credit. Fifty thousand financial services firms fall under its remit. 

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