Misleading financial promotions

If you see a financial promotion or advert that’s unclear or misleading, you can report it to us. Find out what we can investigate and how to spot the warning signs.

First published: 19/04/2016 Last updated: 09/10/2023 See all updates

All adverts and promotions for financial services must be fair, clear and not misleading. If you see one that isn’t, please report it to us.

Financial adverts we can investigate

We can investigate financial adverts and promotions that involve products and services such as: 

  • loans (including payday loans, Buy Now Pay Later, guarantor loans and car finance) 
  • cash savings and bank accounts 
  • insurance (including home, motor and travel) 
  • pensions 
  • mortgages (including equity release) 
  • life assurance 
  • investments (including bonds, stocks and shares, contract for differences, collective investment schemes, loan and equity-based crowdfunding) 
  • payment services and e-money (excluding cash-to-cash ‘bureaux de change’ activities) 
  • claims management (including personal injury, criminal injury and employment related) 
  • funeral plans 
  • regulated debt services (eg debt counselling) 
  • qualifying cryptoassets

These adverts can appear in many forms, including: 

  • websites 
  • on social media (including Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook) 
  • on mobile apps 
  • in emails 
  • on television 
  • on radio 
  • on posters (on public transport, for example) 
  • in newspapers 
  • in mail sent to your address 

If you’re concerned about an advert for another type of product, please contact the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). You can also complain to ASA about the general parts of an advert or promotion, such as its taste, decency or social responsibility.

How to spot a misleading financial promotion

Financial promotions and adverts can be unclear or misleading for many reasons. To help you spot and avoid the misleading ones, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the risks and are they clear?
  • Does the promotion create an unrealistic expectation of the product?
  • Is there important information that only appears in the small print?
  • Is the promotion balanced (are both the positives and negatives explained)?
  • Is it clearly explained what I need to pay or how much I’ll end up paying?

In some cases, promotions might say that we’ve approved or endorsed a product. But we don’t endorse products, we only authorise the business that provides them. If a promotion mentions the FCA, it should be factual only (for example, 'Authorised by the FCA').

Report a financial promotion

Before you make a report, check our Financial Services Register to make sure the promotion is connected to an authorised firm or individual. 

​If you can’t find the firm on the FS Register, call us on 0800 111 6768 or use our contact form to report a scam or unauthorised firm.  


​If the firm is authorised, get in touch to make a report.

Report a financial promotion or advert

How we deal with misleading financial promotions

When we find a misleading financial promotion, we can:

  • ask the firm to change or remove the advert
  • ask the firm to write to customers who may have been misled
  • warn or fine the firm
  • ban the promotion

Report a scam or unauthorised firm

If you’re worried about a potential scam, or you think you may have been contacted by a fraudster or unauthorised firm, report it to us.

Call us on 0800 111 6768 or use our contact form to get in touch.

Page updates

: Information added 'qualifying cryptoassets' added to list.
: Editorial amendment Page update as part of the website refresh
: Link changed Edit to 'Report a scam' link.