FSA advice on wording leads to confusion on adverts

As a sole trader working in this regulated world, things aren’t easy, so when you try to put together an advert to generate some more business a bit of clarity would be nice.

I was recently working on the wording for a advert for commercial mortgages with my network compliance team when we came across some genuine FSA mumbo-jumbo.

Apparently if an advert is for qualifying credit, although commercial mortgages are not regulated, the advert is still subject to the rules around financial promotions.

This is a bit hard to take, but OK, let’s carry on – and now we get to the good part. The ’your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage’ warning must be used.

This is even though we are talking about a commercial mortgage that would not be secured against ’your home’.

By including this wording in the advert all I will be doing is misleading readers. I thought that was what the regulations were supposed to prevent.

Confused? I was. So I ditched the advert. Clearly, the FSA needs to amend this wording in some way, such as – ’your commercial property will be repossessed’.

On the point of compliance, I have sympathy with Simon Robins as I have referred glaring breaches of FSA rules on financial promotions to the FSA, yet have seen no sign of action.

So do you report these people again so your complaint can sit on someone’s desk? The firms involved are national brokers and loan companies, not just small firms.

There seems little point in a regulatory reporting process that gives no feedback and is impossible to judge in its effectiveness.

Like I say, it’s all mumbo-jumbo.

Peter Sowerby
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