ME Group CEO, Rob Cooper, has backed the FCA’s decision to clamp down on misleading credit adverts, which prey on vulnerable consumers.

The regulator has warned nearly 28,000 firms against using terms such as ‘no credit check loans’, ‘loan guaranteed’, ‘pre-approved’ or ‘no credit checks’ in their advertising.

They’re concerned it gives people a false impression of automatically being accepted for a loan if they apply.

Mr Cooper believes transparency and honesty is the key to protect people against financial harm.

“While consumer credit can be a lifeline for many people who find themselves in difficult financial situations, it has to be done with a fair view and according to consumer needs,” he commented.

“Unfortunately, we live in a time where some firms are putting their profits before their principles.

“Those that are seen to be misleading consumers with advertising language that isn’t entirely factual, should rightly face the full consequences.

“Firms should seek to understand a consumer’s personal circumstances and whether they can afford the loan in the first place.

“Unscrupulous tactics, which can leave individuals in financial harm are not the way forward. Protecting the public should be at the forefront.”

Fintech firm, ME Group, seeks to champion access to justice through litigation funding and LegalTech.

The FCA will continue to monitor online credit advertising to check that companies are complying. Those seen not to be, will face action which could include banning adverts or requiring firms to change or withdraw them – or even removing a firm’s permissions to engage in regulated credit activity.

In a statement on the FCA’s website, Sheldon Mills, Executive Director of Consumers and Competition at the FCA, said:

“The rising cost of living means many more consumers may find themselves in difficulty. When people are looking for a loan, it’s vital that they have the full picture about what this might mean and the risks involved – particularly if they are already in a difficult financial situation.

“There is no excuse for adverts to make borrowing look easier or less risky than it is and firms should be seeking to help customers through the cost of living crisis – not exploiting it in their marketing.”