FCA interventions soar 1398% as ‘fin-influencers’ come under scrutiny

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took action against 8582 promotions in 2022 as the watchdog upped its interventions, according to new data.

The figure was a 1398% or a nearly fifteen-fold increase from the regulator’s 573 interventions in 2021.

One of the key trends the FCA identified was a rise in financial influencers (fin-influencers) promoting financial products on social media. These included investment products and credit, with students being particularly targeted.

Where the FCA identified such promotions, it said it had made requests to social media companies to remove offending content.

The regulator has increased its capability to search across social media to “identify illegal financial promotions faster and in larger volumes.”

The FCA also said it was working with other regulators to educate fin-influencers on their obligations when seeking to promote products. It flagged the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 which makes it illegal to “entice consumers to invest money they cannot afford to lose or provide consumers with financial advice.”

One example it gave was a social media influencer who had on two or more occasions promoted unauthorised traders to followers through a personal social media profile. The individual was also the sole director at a regulated firm with permission for secondary credit broking.

“We engaged with the individual who agreed not to use their personal social media to promote financial services, and we imposed a requirement on the firm that neither the firm nor its director would promote any financial services offered by third parties.”

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