TikTok bans financial services ads

Pevita Lena
On its 'branded content policy' page, TikTok has added financial services and products to its list of 'globally prohibited industries'. Photo: Reuters

On its ‘branded content policy’ page, TikTok has added financial services and products to its list of ‘globally prohibited industries’. Photo: Reuters

TikTok has added financial services and products including cryptocurrencies and pyramid schemes to the list of promotional content that is banned on its platform.

A report in the Financial Times said the move comes after users were warned against taking financial advice from TikTok videos over concerns it could be misleading, particularly for younger savers.

On its ‘branded content policy’ page, TikTok has added financial services and products to its list of ‘globally prohibited industries’. 

The section includes lending and management of money assets, loans and credit cards, buy now pay later services, trading platforms, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange, debit and pre-payment cards, forex trading and pyramid schemes.

But “the real proof of TikTok’s commitment to cleaning up its act will be in how it enforces the policy to ensure that banned content is identified and removed quickly,” said Anthony Morrow, co-founder of financial advice service OpenMoney.

Read more: UK advertising watchdog promises ‘hard and fast’ crackdown on crypto

“We know that social media influencers are fuelling demand for day trading and unregulated investments like cryptocurrencies by talking up the potential returns without explaining the enormous risks involved.”

Morrow said TikTok posts including #bitcoin have received 4.4 billion views, while #cryptocurrency has had 1.5 billion views, #investment 790 million, and #stockstobuy 447 million.

He stressed the importance of getting advice from someone “who’s properly qualified to talk about the options” as well as making sure you understand and are comfortable with the level of risk you are taking.”

Last month, TikTok partnered with the UK’s Citizens Advice to create videos on how to make informed financial decisions and understand financial terminology.

Earlier this year the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said young people are getting involved in higher risk investments, potentially prompted by the accessibility offered by new investment apps. 

It warned that “there is evidence that these higher risk products may not always be suitable for these consumers’ needs as nearly two thirds (59%) claim that a significant investment loss would have a fundamental impact on their current or future lifestyle.”

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?

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