Klarna Docs - Advertising Standards Authority & Financial Conduct Authority

Advertising Standards Authority & Financial Conduct Authority

The Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) is the UK’s advertising regulator and responsible for applying the Advertising Codes (the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing and the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising) written by the Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice. These apply to all UK firms.

The ASA considers all complaints about non-technical aspects of advertisements in non-broadcast media. For example, offence, social responsibility, fear and distress and competitor denigration. The ASA also assesses complaints about broadcast advertisements and liaises with the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) on technical matters as appropriate. The ASA investigates general advertising complaints and can:

  • Require changes to advertising or ban advertising
  • Publish findings and decisions on the ASA website
  • Refer financial advertising to the FCA
  • Refer a complaint to Trading Standards, who have a broader range of enforcement
  • powers available to them. Trading Standards can, for example, take legal action resulting in
  • possible (unlimited) fines and/or imprisonment 
  • Liaise with the Competition & Markets
  • Authority in respect of an issue

The FCA monitors and investigates compliance with the Principles, CONC and its other rules generally and has a variety of powers, including swift direct intervention with firms to force the immediate amendment or withdrawal of financial promotions which contravene its financial promotion rules. The FCA also has the power to, amongst other things: 

  • Ban financial promotions 
  • Issue fines and public censure 
  • Take legal action which may result in fines or imprisonment and 
  • Vary or remove FCA permissions

Its main aim is to ensure that financial markets function well. In order to achieve this, it has three operational objectives which are to: 

  • Secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers 
  • Protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and 
  • Promote effective competition in the interests of consumers