The FCA changed its logo during Summer 2017 as part of its ‘brand refresh’ and advised regulated firms that they are not permitted to use the FCA logo on any of their documentation or promotional material.
More recently, the FCA have expressed concern that some firms are using their FCA-authorised status in a promotional way, which is not only contrary to FCA rules, but could also lead to consumer harm.
Having conducted a review looking at how firms present their FCA authorisation status on their websites, the FCA has found it necessary to remind firms of their obligations when communicating with clients, including details about the extent of their FCA authorisation/regulation and in relation to the use of the FCA logo.
- Unclear, unfair and misleading statements by a firm may involve a breach of FCA’s Principles for Businesses, Principle 7. This states:
“A firm must pay due regard to the information needs of its clients, and communicate information to them in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading.”;
- GEN 1.2.2AR (referring to approval by the FCA), the purpose of which is to prevent clients being misled about the extent to which the FCA has approved a firm’s affairs; and
- GEN 4.5 (statements about authorisation and regulation by the appropriate regulator). In particular, GEN 4 Annex 1R sets out the required disclosure statements for FCA authorised persons, with relevant notes. Note 5 (GEN 4 Annex 1R) relates to the presentation of those statements, which includes, for example, the use of images, symbols (such as shields, ticks, padlocks) and wording in addition to the relevant required disclosure statement. Firms are reminded to present and communicate information in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading.