Financial Spreads Advertising Guidelines
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Important: Financial Spreads is not currently offering any trading services.

Advertising Guidelines

Advertising Guidelines


Important: The Following Guidelines Are No Longer Accurate, Please Do Not Use Them


Important: Financial Spreads Advertising / Promotional Material Guidelines

Contents
  1. Overview
  2. Background
  3. A Financial Promotion
  4. Targeting Clients
  5. USA
  6. Risk Warning
  7. Transparency Notice
  8. Further Notices and Advice
  9. 'Short Form' Adverts
  10. Advertising / Promotional Material
  11. Advertising / Promotional Text Examples
  12. Client Offers
  13. Further Guidance
  14. Summary


  1. Overview

    1. All advertising regarding Financial Spreads, irrespective of format, must be “Clear, fair and not misleading”.

    2. All advertising regarding Financial Spreads must be compliant with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidelines.

    3. The FCA provides strict guidelines on how to promote financial spread betting products and we have endeavoured to interpret these for you in this document.

    4. All graphics / text / HTML etc made available to affiliates via the Financial Spreads Affiliate Scheme on Trade Doubler will be compliant with FCA Guidelines.



  2. Background

    1. Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the FCA. As part of our regulatory obligations we must ensure that our graphics (banners, buttons, skyscrapers, logos etc), editorial, offers, emails and any other advertising / promotional material are clear, fair and not misleading.

    2. We need you to ensure that if you are altering any advertising / promotional material you adhere to these guidelines.



  3. A Financial Promotion

    The FCA’s definition of a financial promotion:

    A financial promotion is a communication that is an invitation or an inducement to engage in investment activity.

    The FCA state that financial promotions should be clear, fair and not misleading.

    Clear and not misleading: This means any advertising / promotional material relating to Financial Spreads has to be substantiated. We cannot claim that Financial Spreads are the best or fastest or cheapest without proof.

    Fair: this means that if you say something positive, you must balance it with the negative. Therefore, whilst financial spread betting is an exciting way to make substantial profits, you can also lose money in excess of that which was initially deposited. The negative information must be presented in the main body of any advertising / promotional material, in the same font size and colour as the rest of your advert. You cannot hide any issues or negative statements in a footnote.

    More information and suggested copy is provided later in this document.



  4. Targeting Clients

    The FCA requests that each client that applies for a financial spread betting account is assessed for their suitability for the product. As part of this suitability program, you should ensure that you carefully target potential clients. Whilst the FCA definition of a suitable client is fairly open we advise you that a suitable client is:

    1. Over the age of 18 years

    2. Someone that understands and accepts the risks associated with financial spread betting

    3. Someone that understands margined / derivatives trading

    4. Someone that believes that margin trading suits their investment objectives

    All of the above statements are posed to potential clients when they apply for an account.



  5. USA

    Please note: US residents are not allowed by US law to open internet betting accounts. Consequently Financial Spreads does not accept applications from applicants domiciled in the USA.



  6. Risk Warning

    FCA regulations state that a full Risk Warning and Transparency Notice should be included in all “financial promotions”.

    To clarify, we recognise the Risk Warning as a paragraph of text in the main body of any advertising / promotional material which raises the client’s awareness to the high risks associated with financial spread betting.

    The following Risk Warning and Transparency Notice should be included on all pages of your website where you promote Financial Spreads.

    Risk Warning Text:

    Spread betting and CFD trading carry a high level of risk and you can lose more than your initial deposit so you should ensure spread betting and CFD trading meet your investment objectives and if necessary seek independent advice.

    Risk Warning Placement

    As stated above you must ensure that all advertising / promotional material includes a warning to potential clients regarding the risks associated with financial spread betting.

    This warning must sit within the body of the advertising / promotional material (ie not at the bottom) and it has to have the same prominence (ie same font size and same colour) as all the other copy.



  7. Transparency Notice

    You must, at all times, be clear about who the client will be making their relationship with and therefore all materials promoting Financial Spreads must carry the following information:

    Transparency Notice Text:

    Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group which is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd floor, 6 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4AB.

    Transparency Notice Placement

    This must be legible. However it can be placed at the bottom of the advertising / promotional material and can have a smaller font size and be stated in a different colour to the main text.



  8. Further Notices and Advice

    1. Stop losses:

      If stop-losses are mentioned, the following sentence must be immediately added “stop-losses are not guaranteed”

    2. Tax Free:

      Equally, if you mention the Tax benefits, you must also add that “Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may change in the future.”

    3. Comparison Tables

      If you wish to include a comparison table featuring Financial Spreads prices / spreads please note that you must add the date that the information was extracted and the source of the information.

    4. Advice

      In order to offer investment advice a firm is required to hold FCA authorisation to do so. Financial Spreads is “not authorised by the FCA to offer investment advice”. Consequently we can not offer investment tips, hints, guidance or any other information that could be construed as offering investment advice.



  9. 'Short Form' Adverts

    If space is limited and there is no mention of a client offer or call to action and you are just referring to Financial Spreads / Financial Spreads services this can be treated as a “Short Form” advert. As such, it does not need the full body of risk warnings detailed above.

    Therefore, if space is limited, you could use one the following descriptions:

    1. "Financial Spreads"
    2. "Financial Spreads - Spread Betting"
    3. "FinancialSpreads.com – Financial Spread Betting"
    4. "Financial Spreads - Providers of Financial Spread Betting""

      Further example Short-Form descriptions of Financial Spreads services, ie factual, "non-sales" descriptions without client offers or invitation to open an account.

    5. "With Financial Spreads you can place trades on their website or over the phone"
    6. "Financial Spreads offer a wide range of financial spread betting markets"
    7. "Financial Spreads offer spread bets on the FTSE 100, Crude Oil, Gold and a range of UK and international shares"
    8. "Financial Spreads offer spread bets on a range of Equities, Indices, Commodities and Forex markets"



  10. Advertising / Promotional Material

    We are happy for you to use the copy that we produce.

    If you prepare your own copy, you must remember that you have to balance the positive with the negative. For example, if you state that spread betting is “a cost effective alternative to traditional share trading” you must ensure that your risk warning is included and clear. Normally the inclusion of the risk warning (detailed above) will ensure that your communication is balanced.

    You cannot refer to spread betting as “sexy” or “easy” or an “easy way to make money”. You cannot suggest that a client will be “guaranteed to make money”. You could not use the phrase “a great way to make money” as it suggests that a person is guaranteed to make money.

    A good point of reference is to remember that you cannot make any statements about Financial Spreads without being able to substantiate them.

    For example, we would not be able to say that Financial Spreads is “the best spread betting company”. Instead we could say that Financial Spreads is “an exciting contender in the spread betting market place”.

    Similarly, if you state that Financial Spreads offer “the tightest spreads in the market” you will need to be able to provide the FCA with documentation to prove this. In this case you could state “Financial Spreads offer some of the tightest spreads in the market”. In the same way, you cannot make a statement such as “Improve / increase your profits” as this suggests that anyone that spread bets will automatically make a profit. What you would need to say in this instance is “You could / maybe able to improve / increase your profits”

    When mentioning “How to Apply” or “Apply Here” you cannot say “Open an Account” or “Open an Account today” as each client is individually assessed as to their suitability and accounts are offered subject to status, therefore, not all applicants will be successful.

    As mentioned above, any Advertising / Promotional Material featuring:

    1. a call to action, and / or
    2. details of a Client Offer

    must include a Risk Warning and Transparency Notice which must appear next to any text which mentions client offers or invites users to apply for a Financial Spreads account.



  11. Advertising / Promotional Text Examples

    1. Example 1 - Advertising / Promotional Text regarding Financial Spreads services you may use on your site:

      With Financial Spreads you get all the normal advantages of Spread Betting:

      • Tax Free Investments*
        • No Stamp Duty
        • No Capital Gains Tax
        • No Income Tax
      • You can buy or sell a range of indices, shares, forex, commodities, interest rates and bonds markets
      • No commissions

      * Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may change in the future.

      Plus with Financial Spreads you get:

      • Tight Spreads eg The FTSE 100 Rolling Daily Spread is 1 point during market hours and 4 points ticks out of hours
      • Stakes as low as £1 per point
      • Low initial margin requirements
      • Fully interactive online dealing on the Financial Spreads website which offers a variety of trading options
      • Daily Rolling contracts
      • Live prices
      • Free Charts


      Click Here to Apply for an Account.

      Spread betting and CFD trading carry a high level of risk and you can lose more than your initial deposit so you should ensure spread betting and CFD trading meet your investment objectives and if necessary seek independent advice.

      Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group which is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd floor, 6 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4AB.




    2. Example 2 - Advertising / Promotional Text regarding Financial Spreads services you may use on your site:

      Financial Spreads
      Financial Spreads - Forex , Commodities, Indices, Equities
      Trade the tightest FTSE spreads available² & find a range of benefits at: FinancialSpreads.com

      Financial Spreads - tight spreads Constantly tight spreads: eg Brent Crude 5 ticks, Rolling S&P 4 ticks
      Financial Spreads - Tax Free Profits (3) Tax Free Profits³
      Financial Spreads - £1 per point £1 per point: Start trading £1 per point/tick & an initial deposit of £30
      FinancialSpreads.com - Forex, Commodities, Indices, Equities Multiple markets: Forex , Commodities, Indices & Equities
      FinancialSpreads.com - The Financial Spread Betting Website


      Risk Warning - Spread betting and CFD trading carry a high level of risk and you can lose more than your initial deposit so you should ensure spread betting and CFD trading meet your investment objectives and if necessary seek independent advice.


      (1) The FTSE Rolling Daily Spread is 1 tick during market hours & 4 ticks out of hours. 1 Tick is defined as a full FTSE point. See our Product Information for more details. (2) The above information is correct at time of writing. (3) Tax Law can change.

      Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group which is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd floor, 6 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4AB.




  12. Client Offers

    1. Any ‘client offers’ / ‘recruitment offers’, such as cashback or account credits must:

      • Include a Risk Warning and Transparency Notice
      • Avoid accentuating the potential benefits without giving a fair indication of the risk
      • Make it clear that:
        • an account must be opened and a specified number of bets must be placed, in order for a person to claim an offer
        • account opening is subject to credit and suitability checks
        • there are additional terms and conditions


    2. A Client Offer (when available) will take the following format.

      £70 Bonus to your Spread Betting Account

      Open a Financial Spreads account*, deposit £250 and place five opening non-equity trades to receive a £70 bonus to your account**

      *Credit and suitability checks, **terms and conditions apply. See site for details about an account with Financial Spreads.

      Spread betting and CFD trading carry a high level of risk and you can lose more than your initial deposit so you should ensure spread betting and CFD trading meet your investment objectives and if necessary seek independent advice.

      Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group which is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd floor, 6 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4AB.

    3. Client Offers Text Rules

      A Client Offer can be split in to 4 sections:

      1. Offer description and basic rules
      2. Notice that additional rules / details apply
      3. Risk Warning
      4. Transparency Notice


      • When mentioning client offers, 1, 2 and 3 MUST appear together. If space allows, the Transparency Notice (4) should also sit with the rest of the text. If space is tight (eg in a HTML email) then it can go elsewhere on the page, for example as a footer. It must, at the very least, appear on the same page as the offer details.
      • Failure to place (2) and (3) next to (1) will mean that the offer is not compliant with FCA guidelines.
      • Please also note that (2) and (3) above must also be in the same font size and colour as the rest of the body copy on the page i.e. you cannot ‘bury’ the risk warning at the bottom of the text in a tiny 6 point light grey font.
      • The title / header can appear in a slightly larger font eg one or two point sizes larger, however the rest of the text should be the same point size.


    4. Example - Advertising / Promotional Text regarding Financial Spreads with a Client Offer

      Take a different perspective on your investments. Check out the spread betting markets on offer from Financial Spreads. New clients can claim a free £70 credit, after opening an account*, depositing £250 and placing five opening equity trades.**

      *Credit and suitability checks, **terms and conditions apply. See site for details about an account with Financial Spreads. Click here apply for an account.

      Spread betting and CFD trading carry a high level of risk and you can lose more than your initial deposit so you should ensure spread betting and CFD trading meet your investment objectives and if necessary seek independent advice.

      Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group which is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd floor, 6 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4AB.

    5. NON Compliant Examples

      Finally, to avoid any uncertainty, the following are examples of NON-COMPLIANT text, which must NOT be used:

      NON-COMPLIANT Example 1:

      FREE £70 – Click here to open a Financial Spreads account

      This text is not compliant because it does not:

      • give any indication that opening a Financial Spreads account is subject to credit and suitability checks
      • contain a risk warning
      • state the basic rules of the client offer
      • state that terms and conditions apply
      • mention that Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority


      NON-COMPLIANT Example 2:

      Financial Spreads have some great free offers for new clients, including £70 free cash. Click here to visit the site.

      As above, this text is not compliant because it does not:

      • give any indication that opening a Financial Spreads account is subject to credit and suitability checks
      • contain a risk warning
      • state the basic rules of the client offer
      • state that terms and conditions apply
      • mention that Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


      NON-COMPLIANT Example 3:

      Open a Financial Spreads Account, deposit £250 and place five non-equity bets to receive a £70 credit to your account.

      Credit and suitability checks apply. Spread betting and CFD trading carry a high level of risk and you can lose more than your initial deposit so you should ensure spread betting and CFD trading meet your investment objectives and if necessary seek independent advice.


      Although this more detailed text contains some of the basic rules of the client offer and a risk warning, it is still not compliant as it does not:

      • state that terms and conditions apply
      • mention that Financial Spreads is a trading name of London Capital Group which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority



  13. Further Guidance

    1. These guidelines apply to Financial Spreads advertising / promotional material and may not be suitable for other financial products and services

    2. For full guidelines on promoting financial products in the UK see the Financial Conduct Authority website, www.fca.org.uk



  14. Summary

    1. All advertising / promotional material regarding Financial Spreads, irrespective of format, must be “Clear, fair and not misleading”

    2. All advertising / promotional material regarding Financial Spreads must be compliant with FCA Guidelines

    3. All graphics / text / HTML etc made available to affiliates via the Financial Spreads Affiliate Scheme on Trade Doubler will be compliant with FCA Guidelines. Provided you use the advertising / promotional material as supplied by Financial Spreads (along with any notes on how to correctly present the material) then the material will be compliant

    4. If we see that you are using non compliant advertising / promotional material to promote Financial Spreads we will ask you to alter it immediately. If you do not do so we are required to remove you from the Financial Spreads Affiliate Programme

    5. You may by liable to prosecution by the FCA if you produce non complaint advertising / promotional material

    6. If you would like Financial Spreads to check any advertising / promotional material before you make it available on your website or otherwise make it available to the general public please email us stating:

      • Your contact details
      • The advertising / promotional material you would like to use
      • Where you plan to use the advertising / promotional material

    7. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any more guidance



Thank you in advance for your co-operation.

The Financial Spreads Team

Important: Financial Spreads is not currently offering any trading services.

Spread betting and CFD trading carry a high level of risk to your capital and you can lose more than your initial deposit so you should ensure spread betting and CFD trading meet your investment objectives and if necessary seek independent advice. † Stops are automatically allocated to each trade and if triggered are subject to market gaps unless you specified for your trade to be guaranteed.

* Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may change in the future.

Financial Spreads is owned by Clear Investor Ltd., 15 Weller Street, Borough, London, SE1 1QU.