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FCA fines for financial promotion failures

23 June 2014

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Credit Suisse and Yorkshire Building Society for financial promotion failures.

Both Credit Suisse International (CSI) and Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) failed to ensure financial promotions for CSI’s Cliquet Product were clear, fair and not misleading. CSI was fined £2,398,100 and YBS was fined £1,429,000.  

Tracey McDermott, FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime said: ‘It is crucial that firms consider the needs of their customers from the time that products are being designed through to their marketing and sale. The information provided to customers forms an important part of this. Financial promotions are often the primary source of information for consumers and in this case CSI and YBS let their customers down badly. These promotions were a serious breach of the requirement to be clear, fair and not misleading. 

‘CSI and YBS knew that the chances of receiving the maximum return were close to zero but they nevertheless highlighted this as a key promotional feature of the product. This was unacceptable.’

The Cliquet Product was designed by CSI to provide capital protection and a guaranteed minimum return with the apparent potential for significantly more if the FTSE 100 performed consistently well. The probability of achieving only the minimum return was 40-50% and the probability of achieving the maximum return was close to 0%. Despite this CSI’s and YBS’s financial promotions marketed the potential maximum return on the product as a key promotional feature.

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