U.K. Regulator to Spend £11M on Marketing Campaign Warning of Crypto Risks

  • The head of the FCA, Nikhil Rathi, made the announcement during a speech at the “Our Role and Business Plan” webinar on Thursday.
  • Rathi said the digital marketing campaign was necessary, as crypto investors are more likely to be young people drawn to social media.
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The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be launching an £11 million ($15 million) marketing campaign to warn investors of the risks involved with crypto assets, the regulator’s chief executive said in a speech on 15 July.

During his presentation at the “Our Role and Business Plan” webinar, Nikhil Rathi said the FCA was concerned that more and more young people have started investing into crypto, which prompted the regulator to spend around $15 million on a digital marketing campaign informing investors of the dangers associated with such investments. Rathi said in his speech:

“This is a category of consumer that we are not used to engaging with – 18 to 30-year-olds are more likely to be drawn in by social media. That’s why we are creating an £11m digital marketing campaign to warn them of the risks.”

Rathi pointed to a recent FCA research — which found that around 2.3 million adults in the U.K. have already invested in crypto assets — when he said that crypto holders are more likely to be younger, and behave “less rationally and more emotionally”. During his speech, he also compared crypto assets to GameStop shares, which in January reached $480 after Reddit forum WallStreetBets triggered a trading frenzy, but later dropped significantly in price.

While the FCA is preparing to spend $15 million on a marketing campaign to educate people, its counterpart in the advertising industry, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), said it will be paying more attention to the crypto market. Last week, the Financial Times reported ASA will be clamping down on misleading marketing for crypto investments as part of a wider move by regulators to prevent harm to consumers.

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