Central Bank Criticises Financial Service Firms

The Central Bank has said it is looking at number of financial services firms over concerns they are not complying with consumer protection guidelines in their advertising.

The bank said on Tuesday that it written to firms to remind them of the requirements relating to advertising, contained in the revised Consumer Protection Code, which came into effect on 1 January 2012.

A spokesman for the bank said it had highlighted practices in relation to advertising that it is not satisfied with.

At the start of this year, a revised consumer protection code came into effect. This included guidelines that covered how firms should advertise financial products and services.

The spokesman said: "The Central Bank reiterated the relevant provisions relating to advertisements and said that it expects to see clearer, more balanced advertising of financial products and services with equal prominence given to key information."

Among its chief concerns where that some advertisements had been identified where the Central Bank is concerned about fairness, clarity, accuracy and potential to mislead in terms of content and presentation. Key information in relation to the product is not sufficiently prominent in some advertisements.

Advertisements have been identified where the qualifying criteria are not included with the minimum price or potential maximum saving, in the main body of the advertisement.

Director of Consumer Protection, Bernard Sheridan said: "The Consumer Protection Directorate’s strategy puts the consumer centre stage and our objective in relation to advertising is clear - consumers should receive balanced information on advertised financial products and services.

"The Central Bank expects firms to bear this in mind when designing their advertisements and in deciding what information to include."


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