The Advertising Standards Authority has banned two adverts from a claims management firm which encourage customers of Lloyds Banking Group to bring complaints over missold packaged bank accounts.
It is the second time in three months the ASA has taken action against The Claims Guys for targeting Lloyds customers.
The first advert said: “Lloyds customers: The FCA has identified major issues with how packaged accounts were sold. You could have been missold your account, click here to find out if you are due a refund…DO YOU HAVE A LLOYDS PACKAGED ACCOUNT?”
The second advert said: “Halifax customers: You could be one of the many due a refund. Simply click below to find out if you are eligible…Halifax Account refunds finding out is free and easy, just click”.
A third advert, appearing as a video on Facebook, also urged customers to “click to find out if you are eligible for a refund”. The video also highlighted an “average claimant refund” in 2014 of £3,542.
Lloyds Banking Group challenged the adverts, saying the claims regarding FCA action against Lloyds in relation to the sale of packaged bank accounts were false.
The bank also challenged whether the adverts could justifiably suggest that customers could find out their eligibility for a refund simply by clicking on the advert, due to the complex nature of the investigating process.
The final challenge was around the average claim refund figure cited in the video advert, which did not state the basis or type of claim the figure related to.
In its assessment, the ASA upheld all three complaints. The adverts must not appear again in their current form.
In October, the advertising watchdog banned two adverts from the same firm, which targeted Lloyds customers over missold insurance policies.
The ASA does not have the power to shut down websites. It can impose further sanctions, such as naming and shaming the firm on its website, or taking away its paid online search advertising. As a last resort, the company can be referred to the Office of Fair Trading for further action.
It can also impose its rulings across industry sectors where it judges there is a widespread issue based on factors such as the number of complaints and the number of similar rulings.
New rules came into effect yesterday where the Ministry of Justice can impose fines on claims firms of up to 20 per cent of their annual turnover for using information gathered by unsolicited calls and texts or which provide poor quality services.