Your letter-writing contributor Simon Robins (Mortgage Strategy March 12) may be comforted to know that one of our advisers recently placed an advert in a local Midlands newspaper and we subsequently received notification from the Financial Services Authority that it required some tweaking to make it compliant.
We obviously made the necessary tweaks, with the guidance of the helpful regulator.
The advert in its original form could not have caused harm to any would-be client so I imagine this was not something that was high on any regulatory priority list. Even so, it was seen, read and commented upon so I guess the regulator is looking at the little guy.
There are still some grey areas in advertising, particularly surrounding words or phrases that could suggest the availability of sub-prime or consolidation loans, and the requirement concerning specific cost examples.
Opinions from different compliance departments vary when it comes to which phrases may be interpreted which way by the FSA, so hopefully it will continue to operate a light touch over such advertising issues, as it has with us.
Let’s hope that those putting out truly misleading adverts in other areas are soon brought to book.
Paul VioletDirector (training and compliance)
The Review Company UK