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MCOB 3.12 The Internet and other electronic media

MCOB 3.12.1G

This section contains guidance on the use of the Internet and other electronic media to communicate qualifying credit promotions. Firms are also referred to the guidance in MCOB 2.7 (Application to electronic media and distance communications).

Approach and general guidance

MCOB 3.12.2G

Any material, which meets the definition of a qualifying credit promotion, including any video or moving image material incorporated in any website containing a qualifying credit promotion, should comply with the rules in this chapter. See AUTH App 1 (The Internet) for further guidance on financial promotions on the Internet, including the treatment of hyperlinks and banners.

MCOB 3.12.3G

As indicated in MCOB 3.3 (Application: where?), for the purposes of the qualifying credit promotion rules there are two types of approach to qualifying credit promotion communicated via the Internet and other electronic media

  1. (1)

    real time qualifying credit promotions where the communication is in the form, for example, of a telephone conversation, or other form of interactive dialogue; and

  2. (2)

    non-real time qualifying credit promotions where the customer may, for example, choose from reading a description of the qualifying credit, through to the completion of a contract in a similar way to browsing through a leaflet rack. The rules in this chapter relating to hard copy qualifying credit promotions such as advertisements in magazines or newspapers apply equally to such promotions. E-mails, material displayed on a website and sound and television broadcasts are non-real time qualifying credit promotions (see MCOB 3.5.5 R(2)).

MCOB 3.12.4G
  1. (1)

    Before using the Internet, digital or any other form of interactive television or other electronic media to promote its services, a firm should refer to legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Computer Misuse Act 1990, as well as to this chapter.

  2. (2)

    In relation to qualifying credit promotions communicated by way of television, firms will want to have regard to Guidance Note 3 of the ITC Code of Advertising Standards and Practice on the use and appearance of superimposed text.

  3. (3)

    When designing websites and other electronic media, firms should be aware of the difficulties that can arise when reproducing certain colours and printing certain types of text. These difficulties could cause problems with the presentation and retrieval of required information. Any qualifying credit promotion communicated by the Internet, digital or other forms of interactive television is subject to the requirements in MCOB 3.6 (Form and content of non-real time qualifying credit promotions) and MCOB 3.8 (Form and content of real time qualifying credit promotions) as applicable.

Specific guidance

MCOB 3.12.5G

The FSA website http://www.fsa.gov.uk contains a wide range of information including pages of specific relevance to customers. Firms may, if they wish, include a reference or hyperlink to the FSA's site; this will not, however, replace any requirements of the qualifying credit promotion rules.