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Financial Promotions Workshop – Suitable for All Regulated Firms

2 Part Course  |  Learn the Existing Rules, including latest proposals & the new consumer duty and prepare to manage the multiple changes & proposals being made by the FCA

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A one-day course presented over two-half days in a virtual class from 9:30am to 1:00pm UK time

Part One


  • Latest News
  • Most recent FCA Complaint Data

Session 1: What is a Financial Promotion?

  • What is a Financial Promotion
  • Why do they matter? The meaning of “clear, fair and not misleading”
  • The meaning of “in the ordinary course of business”
  • Regulated activities
  • The vital need to distinguish between regulated and unregulated products
  • What rules apply – Conc 3, COBS 4 and/or MCOB3A
  • Media Types – no boundaries – any can be used
  • Types of financial promotion
  • Key issues to understand
  • Exercise: Consider some example promotions to determine whether they meet the rules

Session 2: What is the drive behind regulation? (Overview)

  • FCA role, responsibility and general approach to FPs
  • Principles-Based Regulation versus rules-based regulation
  • Treating Customers Fairly
  • Principles for Business – general FCA requirements of a regulated firm
  • Clear, fair & not misleading in more depth
  • Real-time promotions
  • Non-real time promotions
  • Exercise: Consider a proposal from marketing for a promotion. Is it a financial promotion? What changes are needed to either meet the mandatory requirements if it is or to avoid the classification completely

Session 3: FCA Initiatives, Proposals & Consultations – A Lot of Fine Tuning!

  • New Principle 12 in 2023 "A firm must act to deliver good outcomes for retail clients"
  • Cross cutting rules and guidance
  • The need to “act in good faith”
  • Take all reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable harm to consumers
  • Take all reasonable steps to enable consumers to pursue their financial objectives
  • The FCA’s Four Expected Outcomes’
  • Revisions to Self-Certified Sophisticated Investors criteria
  • Firms will be is required to "reasonably believe” that an individual is a high net worth individual or self-certified sophisticated investor and not merely to rely on the signed investor statement
  • Firms to self-assess if they have the necessary skills & knowledge to approve FP’s
  • Focus on High risk Investments - NRRS. P2P loans, NMPI & SIS
  • New designations – RRS, RMMI, NNMMI
  • Risk warnings to be improved
  • Inducements to be prohibited
  • Addition of two “positive frictions”
  • Enhancing the appropriateness test for RMMI’s
  • Qualifying Crypto Assets Rules
  • Classifying Crypto’s as MMI’s
  • Regulatory Gateway
  • FP’s to include a date stamp and be reviewed more frequently – 3 months is mooted
  • Records to show how each FP was approved
  • Stricter rules for enforcing other firms' promotions

Session 4: The General “Rules” (Overview)

  • Which set of rules applies to your firm
  • How the FCA regulates
  • Client categories
    • MiFID II definitions      
  • Complexity and risk of individual products: Past, Simulated & Future Performance Data
  • Direct Offers
  • Cold Calling
  • Approving Financial Promotions
  • Exercise: A real-life example to consider and evaluate

Session 5:  Introduction to the Advertising Standards Authority (Overview)

  • An independent body
  • What is its role?
  • ASA guidance
  • Non-compliant adverts
  • ASA complaints procedure
  • Latest rulings

Session 6: CONC3 (Will be delivered subject to delegate demand)

  • Definition
  • Application
  • APR’s
  • Representative Examples
  • Detailed provisions
  • Risk Warnings
  • Exercise: Reviewing a CONC 3 example

Part Two

Session 1: Financial Promotions Regulation in Practice

  • The Rules – Refresher
  • Methodology - Financial Promotions Regulations
  • Reviewing, investigating, assessing
  • What to expect on an FCA visit
  • FCA’s approach to non-compliant promotions
  • Thematic reviews
  • Putting together a financial promotion
  • Common problems with FP’s

Session 2: Financial Promotions Using New Media

  • FCA Guidance
  • A detailed review of the Thematic Review
  • Going Forward – the collective views of regulated firms

Session 3: New Principle 12 Consumer Duty

  • Timescale and changes
  • The Consumer Principle
  • Three Rules
  • Four Outcomes
  • Impact on Financial Promotions

Session 4: FCA Linking Financial Promotions with Complaints Handling

  • Why is the FCA linking this with financial promotions?
  • What are the latest complaints handling rules?
  • Root Cause analysis
  • Liaising with FP approvers and the front line
  • Lessons learned
  • Holistic approach
  • FOS rulings
  • Exercise: Looking at recent FOS examples

Session 5: Exceptions to the Rules

  • Is it wise to adopt an exceptions policy – the pros and cons
  • Impact of MiFID
  • Other exceptions

Session 6: Record Keeping

  • Recording communications
  • Time periods
  • FP records requirements

Session 7: Prominence & Financial Promotions

  • Thematic Review – now out of date and not always enforced
  • CONC 3 on Prominence

Course Conclusion

  • Summary
  • Open Forum

Our financial promotions workshop trainer comes from a highly successful, long and varied “fast track” career in Lloyds Bank which led him to very senior management positions at an early age. He was then “head hunted” to join a merchant bank to head the risk function at the main board director level. He now has over 40 years of experience in the UK banking and financial services sector.

He has been a freelance Compliance, FCC & AML training consultant since retiring and is currently an external Master Trainer at both HSBC and Bank of China. At HSBC he has been a leading member of their Global FCC & AML training programme and a Risk Management Programme for senior managers. He has created and delivered training to a vast range of clients, from global giants to small firms and partnerships. He is an accomplished global trainer and has delivered extensive programmes in the UK, USA, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

He is comfortable training at any level of seniority and experience from “black belts” downwards.  His expertise includes but is not limited to Risk Management, Trade Finance, Regulatory Compliance, FCC & AML and all aspects of Corporate, Private and retail Banking. He can deliver soft skills training, including training the trainer.

  • Keep up to date with the latest news and thoughts on this topic.
  • Explain why financial promotions order matters and why there is so much focus on this area.
  • Understand the rules and be able to follow both the letter and the spirit of FCA guidelines.
  • Create powerful promotions that are capable of selling products appropriately.
  • Understand the approval process and the need for clear internal instructions, guidelines and processes.
  • Recognise the significance and importance of the brand or image advertising and how and when this should be used in preference.
  • Consider some topical and selective practice guidance publications (Thematic Reviews) and their impact on FPs.
  • Be aware of the impact of the Advertising Standards Authority on FPs.
  • Become familiar with the “rules” of financial promotions and exceptions.
  • Consider the rules from your organisation’s perspective, COBS 4 & or CONC 3 Know the difference between Real-Time Financial Promotion and Non-Real Time Financial promotions and what this distinction means in practice.
  • Understand the responsibilities of intermediaries, brokers and other third parties.
  • How to approve a Financial Promotion from start to finish.
  • Have in place an effective review process.
  • Expand the understanding of record keeping including time periods, recording communications and FP records requirements.
  • Learn about financial promotions FCA using new media – probably the key marketing media for most firms.
  • Gain insight into prominence and financial promotions by looking at the thematic review and the guidance in CONC3.
  • Consider numerous examples and case studies to understand what good and bad look like.

  • We regularly update the course to include the latest developments including ESG, Crypto Assets and the imminent Consumer Principle 12. There is a lot of fine-tuning of financial promotions at present.
  • We have been delivering this training for many years and we have been fortunate enough to train different sized organisations from different sectors of the financial community. As such we are certain we understand the underlying principles fully for regulated firms of all types.
  • We are completely up-to-date with FCA's current thinking.
  • We are aware that recent FCA work has combined complaints handling with financial promotions with an expectation – not always met - that a root cause analysis should result in joined-up thinking and processes in these two critical areas.
  • We realise that FCA guidance on web-based promotions is now stale. Fortunately, we have been able to discuss this in-depth with many regulated firms and we believe we can add value by sharing collective views on dealing with the regulatory gaps.
  • We do not use academics to deliver this workshop. We prefer hands-on, highly experienced practitioners who reached top management levels during their careers and have real experience in managing risks.
  • This financial promotions training is aimed at the practitioner and uses a commercial approach, where applicable. We emphasise the critical need to ensure promotions are fully compliant – that must always be the case - but we remind delegates that promotions must still be appealing enough for the front line to sell the underlying products on our behalf.
  • We use real-life examples and interesting case studies that illustrate the key points.
  • Feedback received from previous delegates has always been excellent.

Our financial promotions training course is a ‘must know’ for:

  • All staff who work with financial promotions – whether as a product marketeer/creator or a compliance advisor/overseer.
  • Staff in product marketing and/or product governance.
  • Staff engaged in the new Principle 12 Consumer Duty.
  • Senior Managers and Team Leaders seeking to gain a better understanding of their responsibilities in this area.
  • Compliance and risk Officers who want to learn more about the risks and rewards involved.
  • All frontline and other staff operating in a financial firm selling regulated products, who either need to know more about this topic or would like to refresh their skills.

Financial Promotions remain a very high-profile issue for the FCA. Based on client feedback, they are increasingly combining this with reviews of complaints handling procedures to ensure a joined-up process when it comes to marketing financial products to retail clients. Complaints are seen by the regulator as feedback from the client that something is wrong. Any lessons learned as a result must be fed through to the financial promotions team.

Financial promotions are how customers are persuaded to buy, invest or use regulated financial products. For retail clients, it is important to remember the FCA guidance. The firm promoting the regulated product or service knows all about the product, its suitability, its strengths and weaknesses and whether it meets the needs of the applicant. The applicant/client does not have this knowledge (normally!) and it is entirely reasonable for the FCA to expect all regulated firms to recognise this imbalance and manage it accordingly.

Increasingly, social media and the internet are becoming key marketing platforms. But promotion can be in almost any form via any media. All promotions must be clear, fair, and not misleading, and in many cases, this means exercising judgement. Since the FCA took over consumer finance, the list of products, investments and services that are now regulated by the FCA financial promotions rules is wider than ever. The FCA expects all financial promotions for regulated activities to provide the prospective client with the information needed to make a clear and balanced judgement.

Our financial promotions training course provides participants with a comprehensive overview of the FCA approach and how it applies in practice. We cover the handling of complaints briefly in the context of the expected impact on promotions. We look at new media, prominence, and image advertising, as well as good and bad practices, including exceptions to the rules. There are examples of good and bad practices and the course points out some common pitfalls to be avoided.

Please Note: if requested in advance there is the option to add some specialised modules such as MCOB 3/ Funeral Plans / Claim Handling / Leveraged Products. Motor Finance/Funeral Plans etc.

  • I was looking for an overview of the financial promotions regulations with focus on up to date issues relevant to the products and services I work with. The course delivered this very well in the time frame available
  • Well paced. The trainer was very engaging and made the subject matter interesting. The content was presented in a clear and easy to understand way.
  • The course was well presented and the trainer answered all questions. He kept us engaged and answered all questions. Would definitely recommend the course. 
  • The trainer was fantastic and really engaging. The team had lots of positive things to say!
  • Mark was extremely engaging and made the topic interesting, this had a really positive impact and helped to deliver the important parts, he certainly prevented it from being boring or dry!
Number of places:
Part 1

£ 595.00

Number of places:
Part 2

£ 595.00

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