Google announced that it is updating its UK Financial Services policy, which will take effect in December, in order to combat more financial fraud in the UK. We are announcing a significant additional measure to protect UK consumers and legitimate advertisers, according to Google.
Google’s summary is as follows:
Starting on 6 December 2022, all advertisers who wish to display advertisements for debt services must hold a FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) authorization for debt adjusting and debt counseling, per an update to the Google Ads Financial Products and Services policy. Practitioners of insolvency, including those certified by a recognized professional body, will no longer be permitted to promote these services in their advertisements. Advertisers are required to successfully finish the updated verification process by the time enforcement kicks off on January 16, 2023. The updated policy also makes it possible to verify that advertisers are UK FCA-authorized by looking up those who are listed on the FCA Financial Services Register as “exempt professional firms” or recognized investment exchanges.
A new version of the Google Ads UK Financial Services Policy will be available on December 6, 2022. Additionally, this policy will start to be fully implemented on January 16, 2023.
(1) Debt Services: Debt services will be brought under the purview of the UK Financial Services policy, necessitating the completion of UK Financial Services verification for debt services advertisers targeting the UK. After this change, insolvency practitioners will no longer be permitted to run debt services advertisements in the UK.
(2) Exempt Professional Firms and Recognized Investment Exchanges: Google Ads UK Financial Services Verification requirements will be updated to permit advertisers who are listed as “Exempt Professional Firms” and “Recognized Investment Exchanges” on the UK Financial Conduct Authority Financial Services Register to be verified as UK FCA-Authorized Advertisers. Exempt Professional Firms and Recognized Investment Exchanges are eligible to apply for this verification, which must be successfully completed before they can start marketing financial services in the UK.
(3) New Verification Standards for FCA-Authorized Firms: Advertisers promoting regulated financial services must (1) be approved by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK FCA) or listed on the UK FCA Financial Services Register as an Exempt Professional Firm or Recognized Investment Exchange, and (2) successfully complete Google’s identity verification program in order to be eligible for UK FCA verification.