A summary of the AMF’s monitoring of promotional communications* and advertising** for financial investments carried out in 2021 with 36 establishments*** notes that market players have continued to mainly promote life insurance and passbooks savings (communication of websites and newsletters) as well as investments with non-guaranteed capital (advertising).
According to this monitoring work, published in the last Letter from the Savings Observatorysavings accounts represented three promotional communications out of ten, and life insurance policies one out of ten.
“Some players (subsidiaries of car manufacturers) also communicated a lot on term accounts (nearly one communication in five) “, notes the Financial Markets Authority. The rest of the communications concerned collective investments (8%), “savings balance sheet meetings” (6%), PERs (7%), and finally, investment services (3%).
Non-paying communications: boosted rates and reduced fees on the sales pitch menu
” Promotional communication most often highlights products and relies on the financial advantages associated with their subscription (boosted rates, reduced costs, etc.). At the same time, incentives to contact an adviser to take stock of their savings are not frequent. »
Sustainable finance was more visible last year (one communication out of six), and came mainly from management companies, and to a lesser degree from major banking networks. It has very often highlighted the SRI label from which the products promoted benefit.
Converselycollective investments were less highlighted in promotional communications in 2021 than in the two previous years (11% in 2021 compared to 20% in 2020 and 30% in 2019), but we find them strongly represented in advertising communications.
Advertisements: one out of two is produced by a management company
In terms of advertisements – one out of three encouraged people to seek the services of an establishment (range of products, know-how, or an incentive to make a “savings assessment” appointment) and half were carried out by management.
Investment products and services and balance sheet meetings concerned the bulk of these communications (respectively 38% and 34%), life insurance and retirement savings making up the remaining quarter.
In terms of investment products, four out of ten advertisements promoted non-guaranteed investments (excluding life insurance and PER), and in six out of ten cases, these advertisements appeared on consumer media. More than one out of two involved collective investments (55%), half of which were SCPIs, ahead of SRI investments, equity funds and ETFs.
18% of advertisements come from neobrokers
The AMF also notes a significant presence of neobrokers, which attracted 18% of advertisements, targeting a young audience with mobile applications with interactive interfaces, ” some investment gamification, and [vantant] pricing presented as advantageous (“zero commission”).
Regarding the form and arguments used by institutions to promote their products and services, the AMF continued to call several companies to order because of an imbalance between the advantages and risks presented in their materials.
It has also been able to observe unauthorized advertisements, such as those of platforms offering to invest in crypto-assets even though they do not have the mandatory registration with the AMF. “and numerous scams on the high yield of alternative investments (cryptos, forex, nursing home rooms, parking, etc.). »
Rebound in reports of financial scams
Consumer reports of financial scams – which had fallen in 2020 – increased sharply last year, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention reported in December. Rebounding by 85% compared to last year, their number even exceeded that observed in 2019, to reach a total of 728 complaints.
Aiming at a specter of fraudulent facts “ very wide for an equally wide audience “, the financial scams identified by the State services have affected all consumer profiles, from “simple” consumer credit holders to informed investors, including ” peri-urban young people of modest origin », privileged target of scams deployed on social networks.
The amounts of damages suffered by the victims of these financial embezzlements are on average very high: according to data from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the losses declared over the period 2020-2021 amounted on average to 40,000 € per victim, and could, in some cases, reach astronomical levels.
**Paid and published in the online and paper press.
***including 9 insurers and 13 online players.