European securities regulators target marketing practices

Review to scrutinize communications, social media, finfluencers and greenwashing

By: James Langton

January 16, 2023 – 14:09

magnifying glass

iStock.com

Amid concerns about misleading disclosure, Europe’s regulators are undertaking a compliance sweep of industry marketing, including firms’ use of social media and relationships with finfluencers.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced a common supervisory action, involving the region’s various national regulators, that will examine the adherence of industry communications with the disclosure requirements under the region’s securities rules known as MiFID II.

As part of the review, which will take place throughout 2023, regulators will review whether firms’ marketing communications “are fair, clear and non-misleading.” The review also will look at how firms select the target audience for their marketing efforts — particularly for riskier, more complex investment products.

Additionally, ESMA said that as, “younger, less experienced investors, are particularly vulnerable when they operate online,” the regulators will also be reviewing firms’ use of various online distribution channels, including apps, websites, social media and their collaborations with social media influencers.

The review will also collect information about possible greenwashing violations in firms’ communications and advertisements.

ESMA said the review is expected to enhance investor protection, and to help ensure that the MiFID II disclosure rules are applied consistently throughout the European Union.

Source: Investment Executive