Procedure for UK Financial Services Advertisers to meet Google’s Verification Requirements

This articles looks at the procedure and process for UK financial services advertisers to meet Google’s verification requirements for financial services advertising. Financial services advertisers in the UK must meet Google verification requirements by August 2021.

Globally, Google has introduced advertiser identity verification. This requires the advertiser to provide personal, business and regulatory information, including details of their financial license to provide regulated financial services.

In the UK, this follows from February 2021 when Google wrote to the Financial Authority, outlining its plan to tackle scam ads for financial services. In this letter, Google confirmed an update to its Financial Service policy, requiring financial services advertisers to complete its business operations verification. Furthermore, Google confirmed that it planned on implementing a procedure to verify the identity of financial services advertisers, a process it called the Advertiser Identity Verification. It stated that this process would require such advertisers to submit personal legal identification, business incorporation documents or other information to prove the identity of such advertisers.

From August 2021, if your company wishes to show financial services adverts of any kind in the UK, including adverts to UK users who wish to seek financial services, you, the advertiser, must be verified by Google. As part of the verification procedure, you will be required to demonstrate that you are authorized and regulated with the UK’s financial regulator, namely the Financial Conduct Authority, or the FCA for short. Alternatively, you must qualify for one of the exemptions list below. This requirement covers financial services whether or not they are regulated services by the UK’s regulator - the Financial Conduct Authority.

Key definitions

FCA-authorized advertisers: this means financial services advertisers that are authorized by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide financial services activities.

Approved third parties: these are advertisers whose ads are approved by an FCA-authorized firm. Examples would be agents or appointed representatives working under a principle firm.