The Daily Telegraph

City regulator tightens crackdown on online influencer­s

- By Simon Foy

THE City watchdog is tightening its grip on social media influencer­s after a surge in misleading financial promotions.

The Financial Conduct Authority said it blocked thousands of online advertisem­ents last year and told tech companies to do more to protect consumers. The regulator ordered companies to amend or remove 8,582 promotions last year, 14 times higher than in 2021. It singled out so-called “fin-fluencers” – unauthoris­ed people promoting investment­s on social media sites such as Instagram and Tiktok – as a growing concern and warned it will take action against people who “should not advise people on the merits of investment­s”.

It said: “The FCA has worked closely with several ‘big tech’ companies to change their advertisin­g policies to only allow financial promotions that have been approved by Fca-authorised firms, but more needs to be done.”

The regulator added that it was concerned by an ongoing trend in the number of bloggers promoting credit on behalf of unauthoris­ed third parties, particular­ly targeting students.

It said: “In the most serious of cases, we have and will refer ‘fin-fluencers’ for criminal investigat­ion.”

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