The Financial Services Authority has removed almost 600 misleading advertisements in the past two years but has refused to name and shame the firms behind them.
According to research from Which?, the FSA removed 327 misleading advertisements in 2011 and 262 in 2010.
Which? obtained the data through a Freedom of Information Act enquiry and has called on the Financial Conduct Authority – which replaces the FSA next year – to take a stronger line with firms posting misleading advertisements.
Following pressure from consumer groups, the government has announced that the FCA will have the power to name and shame companies when it finds misleading advertisements.
A spokeswoman for Which? says: “Which? wants the FCA to be a strong, open and proactive watchdog that ensures all products on the market are suitable for consumers and that products are advertised responsibly.
“We are pleased that the FCA, unlike the FSA, will publish details – including the name of the company – when it has found a dodgy financial promotion.
“Our findings demonstrate why this new approach is important – 300 adverts have been removed but no-one knows which companies or products they were promoting.”