One in three financial promotions still not meeting MCOB3

Lemon Squeezy Marketing Limited, the mortgage marketing specialist, has reported that many brokers remain at best ignorant or at worst indifferent to the Financial Service Authoritys regulations on financial promotions.

Having conducted their own research into financial promotions, Lemon Squeezy found that one in four press adverts failed to meet MCOB3 regulations, whilst the picture with websites was worse still with one in three sites checked containing breaches of the code.

Stuart Wilson, founding director of Lemon Squeezy Marketing, says: “Almost a year after M-Day, it was a surprise and a shock to us to find so many financial promotions failing to meet the standards set by MCOB3. Many financial promotions we looked at contained basic errors, a common one being the use of the pre M-Day warning “your home is at risk, rather than the new prescribed wording.”

The financial penalties for breaches of MCOB can be severe and there have been several high-profile fines issued by the FSA in recent months for non-compliant financial promotions. The size and regularity of fines looks set to increase in the future as the FSA actively encourages whistle-blowing on persistent rule breakers.

Wilson adds: “During our research, we found the same brokers breaching MCOB3 rules time and again. It can only be a matter of time before the FSA catches up with them. The size of fines being issued by the FSA could have serious consequences for the long-term future of some businesses.

“We actively work with mortgage brokers, networks and mortgage clubs to provide high-impact marketing material that complies with MCOB3. We also provide a free guide to financial promotions to help brokers get to grips with the basic requirements. There is more regulation and “small print” to deal with now, but it is possible to be clear, fair and not misleading without losing the vital marketing messages you want to convey in your promotions.”