On 14 February 2012, the Central Bank expressed its concerns
about the advertising of regulated financial services and products,
and announced that it is actively reviewing the advertising of
financial products and services by regulated firms.
This announcement comes in light of the requirements of the
Consumer Protection Code 2012 (the "CPC"), which came
into effect on 1 January 2012. The Central Bank has stated
that it is identifying advertising practices which are not fully
compliant with the requirements of the CPC, while indicating that
it has already required some firms to amend or withdraw
advertisements about which it had concerns.
To date, the Central Bank has highlighted the following concerns
in relation to advertisements:
shortfalls in fairness, clarity, accuracy and the potential to
mislead in terms of content and presentation;
key information in relation to the product is not sufficiently
the qualifying criteria are not included with the minimum price
or potential maximum saving, in the main body of the
In this regard, the Central Bank has stated that key information
and eligibility criteria should be stated with the minimum price or
potential maximum saving in the main body of the advertisement, and
that these must be prominent within the advert. It also has
emphasised that firms must be aware of the sizing of proposed
advertisements and consider how they may appear in their final
Generally, the Director of Consumer Protection, Bernard
Sheridan, has stated that the Central Bank's objective in
relation to advertising is that "consumers should receive
balanced information on advertised financial products and
services". He has also stated that the Central Bank
expects firms to bear this objective in mind when designing their
advertisements and when deciding on the information to be contained
Finally, the Central Bank referred to its recent correspondence
with firms, in which it reminded them of their compliance
obligations and the need to make all necessary amendments to
ensure compliance with the requirements of the CPC. In
particular, the Central Bank noted that this correspondence drew
the firms' attention to the provisions 2.4, 9.2, 9.6 and
9.7 of the CPC.
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