ASIC action on misleading advertising

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has reminded financial services providers that it will take action against those whose ads do not comply with the law.

ASIC Commissioner Mr. Peter Kell said that ‘advertisements should give balanced information to ensure the overall effect creates realistic expectations about a financial product or service’ and that ASIC was sending a message that ‘we will take action in response to misleading ads for financial products and services’.

These warnings to companies come after RAMS Financial Group Pty Limited had to change an advertisement which ASIC deemed was likely to mislead.

The advertisement, which advertised a 5.75% interest rate, included statements such as ‘0.8% p.a. Bonus’ and ‘monthly deposit conditions apply’.

ASIC deemed that the ads left out important information regarding the bonus interest, in particular the fact that to receive the bonus consumers could not make any withdrawals from the account within that month.

Mr. Kell reminded advertisers that ASIC regularly reviews ads and takes action where there is noncompliance.