50% of consumers feel misled by adverts

An online survey by Moneyfacts.co.uk has revealed that 55% of consumers feel they have been misled by an advert offering a headline grabbing interest rate.

The survey also shows that 16% of consumers have made an official complaint about a financial services company.

Emma Butler, editor of Moneyfacts.co.uk, says: “The whole idea of an advert is to lure in new customers. However, there are rules in place that are supposed to stop consumers being mis-sold financial products through adverts not containing the correct information or by simply promoting headline rates for which most consumers would not qualify.

“With attractive rates on savings products, it can often be the case that there are certain terms and conditions attached. These include things such as having to hold your current account with the same provider or that the rate only applies for an introductory term.

She adds: “Some66% of people accepted for a credit card or personal loan should receive the advertised typical interest rate. However, the Office of Fair Trading until recently had no mechanism in place to ensure these rules are being followed. On top of this, its own research revealed that 60% of adverts reviewed did not meet the credit advertising rules introduced on October 31 last year.

“With over 50% or consumers feeling they have been misled, there are certainly issues that need to be addressed by the financial services industry. It also emphasises that people need to ensure they always read the small print.”