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UK Cards response to FCA consultation on social media and financial advice

November 2014

This consultation considers the supervisory approach FCA should take when regulating financial promotions on social media.

UK Cards welcomes recognition from the FCA that the way that financial services firms communicate with customers is changing. It is encouraging that the FCA is taking a forward-looking and strategic approach to how financial promotions in social media should be regulated.

UK Cards recommends that the FCA considers the customer ‘path’ as a whole when looking at promotional material. As in more traditional media, customer communication in social or digital environments cannot be seen in isolation - there is a whole series of statutory and voluntary measures in place to ensure that the customer get the right information to make an informed choice in the course of applying for a particular product. This approach would also fit with regulators in related industries such as telephony.

We recommend in our response that rather than prescriptive rules, FCA sets out what it perceives as being an acceptable and desirable set of consumer outcomes. We are supportive of the FCA’s proposed next steps to undertake research into how consumers respond to social media. This should be the starting point for developing regulation in this area.

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