What do new Google financial services regulations mean for the financial sector in 2022?

Google financial services regulations
Google financial services regulations

Google financial services regulations will soon have stricter rules on how to advertise all financial services in the UK. These new introductions could have enormous implications for your Pay Per Click (PPC) strategy. Lead generation results could also dip if you do not take the right steps now.

To advertise any form of financial services to UK Google searchers, the platform must now verify you. If you do not carry out this process, you will soon witness the suspension of your accounts. Google has confirmed the suspension will only follow a warning. Although this could be completely avoided if you take action now.

We are sure that many who join us under the umbrella of the financial sector welcome this decision by Google. Helping to eradicate online scams and cyber fraud. As official Google partners dedicating our services to the financial sector, we are proud to be part of this movement. Action Fraud revealed £1.7 billion has been lost in scams in the UK in the past year, and 85% of all fraud was cyber-enabled. It follows several measures by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to have a greater impact on the digital space. Including recently banning cryptocurrency operator Binance from advertising in the UK.

How do I ensure my business is verified? 

To obtain verification status from Google, you must first demonstrate your products and services are verified by the FCA. Alternatively that you are eligible for an FCA exemption.

You will need to submit the following information to Google via this form:

  • Google Ads account Customer ID
  • Name of the Authorized Representative applying for verification
  • Your business details (name, address, email address)
  • Your domain(s) or website(s) included in the UK Financial Conduct Authority registry, and any of your other domain(s) or website(s) used for advertising on Google Ads, which are not included in the UK FCA registry.
  • UK FCA registration number (FRN)
  • Guarantee you will fulfil all obligations related to communication, approval, and restrictions on financial promotion. This must be in accordance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

Are there exemptions?

Google describes exemptions as the following: “Advertisers that do not promote financial services, but have a compelling reason to target users who appear to seek financial services”. If you fall under this classification and are exempt, you will still need to be verified by an FCA organisation. This can be on your behalf, which will have to provide the information below in the same form as above.

  • Google Ads account Customer ID
  • Name of the Authorized Representative applying for verification
  • Your Business details (name, address, email address)
  • Domains or websites of third party financial services advertisers you approve whose ads.
  • Warranty that you approve the financial promotions the third party runs.

When does this legislation come into force?

Tuesday, September 7, is the time when these new rules come into play. Although we advise you to prepare in advance and start the process as soon as you read this blog. Especially if you already advertise on Google and are not yet verified. If you are regulated by FCA, you should have no issue providing the necessary information in time.

If you rely on an agency for your PPC strategy, and they have not yet carried out verification, you should contact them as soon as possible.

How could this impact my financial service advertisements?

Time lost by Google’s advertising suspension (due to not being verified) could put many companies in sticky situations. Not only could it affect your revenues and lead generation dependency, but also give some easy wins to your competition.

Our opinion on Google financial services regulations is that they will be advantageous to most financial services companies. The new legislation allows only FCA-regulated companies to advertise. Therefore, improving the quality of advertisements and reducing non-regulated competition from advertising in your space. We hope to also see a dive in illegal scams, which is not only a positive improvement for the average consumer looking for a financial product or service, but also helps create an industry that serves the UK legally and ethically.

How can Opulent Media Group help?

We are official Google partners and work with IFA’s, venture capital, networks and wealth management firms to offer both PPC lead generation strategies and brand-based PPC campaigns. Getting the best results from your Pay Per Click (PPC) management requires years of experience and time commitment. With Opulent Media Group as your PPC Agency, you can leave the commitment to us. As early pioneers of PPC capabilities, we were fortunate enough to work with financial advisers in the UK, Asia, the United States, and the UAE to consistently deliver PPC results.

We can advise you on the best approach and strategy based on your business, both in terms of advertising and verifying your business with Google.

If you want to discuss how Google financial services regulations could affect your business or PPC strategy or if you’re thinking of advertising on Google for the first time, you can call one of our PPC specialists today.