Google announced it is cracking down on more financial fraud in the UK by making updates to its UK Financial Services policy that will go into effect in December. Google said “we are announcing a significant additional measure to protect both consumers and legitimate advertisers in the UK.”
Here is Google’s summary:
The Google Ads Financial Products and Services policy will be updated to require that all advertisers be FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) authorized for debt adjusting and debt counseling in order to show debt services advertisements starting from 6 December 2022. Insolvency practitioners, including those licensed by a recognized professional body, will no longer be allowed to advertise for these services. Advertisers must successfully complete the updated verification process by the time enforcement begins on 16 January 2023. The policy update also allows advertisers that are included on the FCA Financial Services Register as ‘exempt professional firms’ or recognized investment exchanges to be verified as UK FCA-authorised advertisers.
On December 6, 2022, the Google Ads UK Financial Services Policy will be updated. And full enforcement of this policy will begin on January 16, 2023.
(1) Debt Services: Debt services will be moved into scope for the UK Financial Services policy, so debt services advertisers targeting the UK will have to complete UK Financial Services verification. Insolvency Practitioners will no longer be eligible to run debt services ads in the UK after this change.
(2) Exempt Professional Firms and Recognized Investment Exchanges: The Google Ads UK Financial Services Verification requirements will be updated to allow advertisers that are included on the UK Financial Conduct Authority Financial Services Register as ‘Exempt Professional Firms’ and Recognised Investment Exchanges to be verified as UK FCA-Authorized Advertisers. Exempt Professional Firms and Recognised Investment Exchanges can apply for this verification and, once they have completed this verification, can begin to advertise financial services in the UK.
(3) Updated Verification Requirements for FCA-Authorized Firms: To be eligible for UK FCA verification, advertisers promoting regulated financial services activities must (1) be authorized by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK FCA) or included on the UK FCA Financial Services Register as an Exempt Professional Firm or Recognised Investment Exchange, and (2) and complete Google’s identity verification program.
Violations of this policy will not lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least seven days prior to any suspension of your account. Learn more about suspended accounts here.
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