Duties on internet companies should cover ads and content, says FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has called for duties on internet companies in the Online Safety Bill should be extended to paid-for advertising and user-generated content.

The UK financial watchdog asked for the legislative change to “address concerns beyond its remit.”

The FCA remit, or perimeter, determines which activities require FCA authorisation and what level of protection consumers can expect for the financial services and products they purchase.

The perimeter is decided by the Government and Parliament through legislation.

The regulator also said that it believes the Bill should designate content relating to fraud offences as ‘priority’ illegal content and so require monitoring and preventative action by platforms.

“The FCA is committed to being more innovative, assertive and adaptive,” said Nikhil Rathi, chief executive, FCA. “That means being more proactive at the limits of our regulation, working with partners and other agencies where we don’t have powers and setting out where we believe more powers are necessary.

“We see real risks to consumers from outside our remit from both online advertising and from those using exemptions to sell products to ordinary customers. Change is needed and we will continue to push for powers where we need them.”

The authority also outlined other areas where it said legislative change is needed, including extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to payment and e-money firms.

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