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FSA called on to pre-vet ads

The Financial Services Practitioner Panel has asked the FSA to consider pre-vetting advertising material.

The panel says if the FSA is going to be firmer over advertising, as in the case of Chase de Vere which was fined £165,000 over its marketing of structured products in December, firms should be able to have it pre-approved.

But the FSA says its rules make clear that it is a firm&#39s responsibility to ensure its ads meet the FSA standards.

Panel member and Norwich & Peterborough Building Society group chief executive Matthew Bullock says the FSA should act in a similar way to the Advertising Standards Authority, which provides feedback and gives a stamp of approval to ads.

However, another panel member says although the issue has been discussed, he does not think the FSA will make a move to pre-vet ads. He says this would cause problems for the FSA as it would take a considerable amount of time and the resources involved would be disproportionate to the benefit.

Bullock says: “We have put the point to the FSA that if it is going to start being firmer with the industry, as it was with Chase de Vere, could it not look into pre-vetting adverts? The FSA has taken this on board.”

FSA spokeswoman Kate Bristowe says: “Our policy is not to pre-vet ads. Our rules have made it clear that it is a firm&#39s responsibility to make sure its adverts meet our clear, fair and not misleading standards. What we do do is monitor ads on a regular basis.”

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