The Financial Conduct Authority has finalised tougher rules for the marketing of high-risk investments.
Under the new rules, firms approving and issuing marketing must have the right expertise and those marketing some types of high-risk investments will have to do better checks to make sure those investments are well matched to consumers.
Some incentives such as “refer a friend” bonuses will be banned, and business will also have to make risk warnings clearer and more prominent.
Sarah Pritchard, the FCA’s executive director of markets, said: “We want people to be able to invest with confidence, understand the risks involved, and get the investments that are right for them which reflect their appetite for risk.
“Our new simplified risk warnings are designed to help consumers better understand the risks, albeit firms have a significant role to play too.
“Where we see products being marketed that don’t contain the right risk warnings or are unclear, unfair or misleading, we will act.
“This is even more important now because increases in the cost of living could prompt people to chase higher investment returns which may prove risky.”
Appetite for risk
The FCA has been looking at ways to reduce the number of people investing in products that do not match their appetite for risk.
This follows concern that many of those who invest in high-risk products do not understand the risks involved, such as the possibility they could lose their money.
The new rules will not apply to cryptocurrency, however.
The FCA said that rules will be published for this sector after the government confirms how it will be brought under the regulator’s remit.
These rules are likely to be similar to those brought in for other high-risk investments.
Meanwhile, the FCA warned that cryptocurrency remains high risk and people should be prepared to lose all their money if they choose to invest.