What Are The Key Financial Marketing Regulations You Need To Look Out For?

What Are The Key Financial Marketing Regulations You Need To Look Out For?

In Business Strategy, Digital Marketing, Legal Marketing, Marketing Strategy by Robb FahrionLeave a Comment

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Over the years, financial marketing regulations have overtaken several financial agencies, charging them hefty fines and making them shut their business down eventually. These unfortunate companies unknowingly broke the rules and regulations governing the financial sector. Even though they didn’t do that on purpose, their companies were taken down anyways.

Welcome to the world of financial marketing regulations! It is true that this is a time of great change and innovation in the financial sector, and many companies are using digital marketing to help keep up with consumer demands. 

However, there are strict laws around financial services marketing which you need to follow diligently to ensure that your customers receive accurate information about your products or service.

Government regulation affecting marketing is like a double-edged sword; it protects your business and at the same time protects your customers.

By keeping these laws in mind as part of your marketing strategy, you'll be able to create high-quality content that meets all necessary requirements without breaking any rules! 

With the right marketing strategy, you can create campaigns that have a significant impact on your brand's revenue and revenue generation. 

It's crucial to understand what they mean for your business so that you can stay compliant while delivering on the ROI of your marketing team. 

Here is an overview of these regulations and what they mean for marketers in this sector:

What are Financial Marketing Regulations?

The term "regulations" refers to a set of rules that are applied by a central authority. In the financial services industry, this can take the form of either specific regulatory bodies or overarching legislation.

The Financial Services Marketing Regulations (FSMR) dictate how financial services providers can market their products and services. 

The FSMR applies to general insurance, life insurance, and long-term savings products. It covers the advertising and promotion of the products as well as any marketing communication aimed at consumers, such as direct mail, e-mail, and social media posts.

As with most regulations, there are certain requirements you need to comply with for your marketing activities to be compliant with this regulation. The three main ones are

  • All your advertisement claims must be truthful
  • They cannot contain unfair competition or any form of deception
  • All claims must be backed by solid evidence

What is Financial Service Marketing?

Financial services marketing is the process of promoting a financial product or service to a customer through various means, whether online or in print. 

It usually involves communications channels such as TV advertising, direct mail, public relations activities, and online content that relate to some kind of financial product or investment

Before you even think about or decide to craft a marketing strategy for your financial service agency, It’s important to understand that there are rules and regulations that apply to financial services marketing. 

The purpose of these regulations is to help customers make informed decisions about which products are appropriate for them, so they can make good investments with their money. 

For example, many banks limit what their advisers can tell customers about specific products. In some banks, it is an offense for a bank representative to give advice without telling customers first. These are just two examples, but there are plenty more; plus, these rules change all of the time so make sure you keep up-to-date. 

It pays to double-check before embarking on any new project as a business owner. That way, you’ll always be in compliance with the rules.

Compliance with the Rules

Even though there are regulations governing all forms of advertisement, the financial market is the one that has the most regulations. It is the one that each state’s government is very strict when it comes to enforcing the laws. In enforcing these regulations, governments have set up several committees and institutions to take care of the.

For instance, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK's financial regulator and is responsible for enforcing the rules on financial promotions.

This financial regulator can fine companies up to £500,000 for breaching regulations, so it's definitely worth checking that your business is compliant with these rules.

If you're promoting your financial company's products or services in any way, such as through advertising or marketing materials, then you'll need to make sure they don't mislead customers. The question now is, what form of advertisement can be considered financial promotion?

What Counts as a Financial Promotion?

A financial promotion is anything that promotes a financial product, service, or the regulated activity of a firm. It includes any statement, communication, or conduct that is likely to induce a person to enter into a contract or transaction involving a financial product.

For example: if you are promoting an insurance policy, your ad needs to comply with the FCA's rules on advertising. If you're promoting shares in your company on Twitter and Facebook, then those platforms' terms and conditions apply - not just those of the FCA!

The financial products that can be promoted include;

  • investing in securities
  • acquiring interests in managed investment schemes
  • dealing in derivatives, or
  • making or receiving payments as an intermediary.

This list is far from an exhaustive one. As long as you’re selling anything regarding finance and investment, consider it a financial promotion.

Let’s now dive into a few of the most relevant regulations that you must keep at your fingertips when doing anything financial marketing.

Here’s a quick disclaimer; we’re not financial advisors. And even if we were, we haven’t retained you as a client yet. Therefore, please don’t rely solely on our advice here when making decisions regarding government regulations. It’ll be best to consult a qualified professional for your legal needs.

With that clarified, let’s dive into the first regulation. 

Know the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) Rules

Despite its name, the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) applies to a much wider array of financial products than just loans. 

It provides protection to consumers who use mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and personal loans. 

The TILA rules require lenders to provide clear explanations of costs related to these kinds of products so that the borrower can make an informed decision before they sign on the dotted line. 

For example, the TILA rules make it unlawful for lenders to charge any undisclosed or unexpected fees or interest rates on a mortgage loan or offer teaser rates that are only available for a limited time period and after which the loan's interest rate will rise precipitously.

These regulations require and ensure that financial organizations maintain transparency in dealing with their consumers.

Be Aware of GDPR Compliance

Do you collect emails, create member accounts, or require users to sign up for your email newsletter? If so, you’ll want to be aware of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. 

GDPR is a set of rules designed to give consumers more control over their personal data and how companies use it. Companies that do not comply with GDPR could face very huge fines.

That’s why many companies are upgrading their privacy policies and making sure they’re in line with regulations. What can you do as a business owner? 

Make sure your website has a clear and easy-to-find privacy policy, along with an option for users to opt-out of receiving communications from you. Make sure that all forms requesting information from visitors have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each form. 

Keep in mind that these changes apply to websites based not only in Europe but also extend to those based outside Europe if they offer goods or services there. 

In other words, if you sell products online anywhere around the world, make sure your website complies with GDPR regulations!

Don’t Break CFPB lLws

CFPB laws are some of the pesky government regulations that you’ll need to pay attention to when it comes to financial marketing, especially when you want to do content marketing. 

CFPB stands for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is an organization that helps protect consumers from getting scammed by financial service marketers. In order words, this regulation requires that you avoid any form of deception marketing. 

As long as your marketing doesn’t tell lies and the message is clear enough for customers to comprehend, you’ll be complying with the CFPB laws.

If you deliberately or accidentally scam a customer or you break a law, they can fine or shut down your business! 

The most important thing to remember is that the CFPB law applies not only to you but also to anyone else who contributes to writing or creating your content marketing material (that includes any contractors). If they don’t follow these rules, they can be fined or have their business shut down

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Compliance

The FCA is the UK's financial regulator. The main responsibilities of this body include consumer protection, market integrity, and the authorization and supervision of regulated firms, such as banks and investment firms. 

In addition to that, they are also responsible for monitoring markets to ensure they are working exactly as they should. 

They have powers to take action against companies or individuals who break any rules or regulations within their jurisdiction. 

Not too long ago, the FCA made it a legal requirement that all businesses who promote financial services through any form of a marketing campaign should first perform target marketing determination. 

This rule ensures that financial businesses don’t market to unqualified customers, thereby preventing them from making damaging decisions to their finances. 

Failing to follow this regulation may cause them trouble down the line if something goes wrong with their campaign strategy. Let’s discuss this regulation slightly deeper.

Target Market Determination

The purpose of this law is to protect consumers from being subjected to unfair, misleading, or deceptive advertising or marketing tactics. It requires that a company have a clear written target market determination in place before it can market its products and services to consumers.

The FTC defines a target market as “a group of consumers whom an advertiser regards as having similar characteristics and purchasing behavior with respect to the product or service being advertised.” 

It also states that marketers must be able to show that there is sufficient evidence for their claims about the number of people within each segment and how they behave so that all reasonable people would agree with their conclusions.

Unfairness means using methods such as bait-and-switch, where something other than what was advertised is offered, false promises regarding prices, fraudulent claims regarding endorsements, or making unsubstantiated claims about gains. 

We’ve now seen the various forms of regulations that exist for financial businesses. How then, can you ensure that your marketing campaigns are in line with these government regulations?

How Do You Make a Compliant Promotion?

If you're not familiar with financial marketing regulations, it can be difficult to know what exactly is required of your business. As a result, it's essential that you work with an expert marketing agency that understands these regulations. 

Not only will this help ensure you stay compliant—but it will also mean that any campaigns run through your brand are seen by people who are likely to buy from it!

The first step is finding a specialist financial marketing agency that understands how these regulations work and what they mean for businesses like yours. 

They should be able to help you create campaigns that meet all of these requirements while still keeping things interesting for potential customers.

Some other key factors include:

  • Using the right language so consumers understand exactly what they’re getting into before taking part in any offers;
  • Ensuring permissions are granted by both individuals and companies;
  • Make sure consumers have given their consent for their data being used in specific, and finally;
  • Always make sure your ads follow rules around not targeting children or vulnerable adults

Regulations are in place to protect consumers and ensure they get fair treatment. They also serve to limit the risk of fraud, which can be very damaging to businesses that don't comply with regulations.

Conclusions

There are a lot of financial marketing regulations out there. Some might seem complicated or overwhelming at first glance, but they can all be boiled down to common-sense principles. If you're looking at your financial marketing strategy and see something that doesn't feel right, it probably isn't!

As long as you're following the golden rules of transparent communication and genuine education, you should be good to go. We wish you all the best in navigating this complex world and hope that the information here has helped make things less confusing for you.


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Robb Fahrion
Robb Fahrion, Partner
Flying V Group

 

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