This year has been a painful one for the retail broker industry (to say the least). The bureaucratic burden on the sector has increased dramatically. Companies have been feeling the pinch from an increasingly costly compliance effort more and more in recent months.
After the implementation of MiFID II in January, the industry has been preparing for a slew of new regulations. As if the official compliance challenges weren’t enough, brokers were served with news from Google. The company decided to introduce a certification process for firms that are allowed to use its Ads platform.
The EU’s GDPR data protection requirements, the FX Global Code of Conduct and the new ESMA regulatory framework have all been implemented in a relatively short period of time. The news from Google has forced a rethink on how the industry is looking for new clients.
At the time of the announcement, some brokers have decided to apply for a certificate from the search giant. At the time, the company communicated its update to policies. In accordance with those, the advertisement materials used by brokerages would have to be approved by Google.
The intrusion into the content policies of brokerage firms appears to be significant. According to information collected from brokers that applied for certification, Google is inspecting deeply.
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All of the landing pages for Google AdWords need to be pre-approved by the search giant. Blog posts, CRM pages, and pages on the websites are all subject to vetting.
In order for the brokerage to get a permit to advertise financial services, it has to thoroughly review its marketing messages. Any of those which are not approved by the search giant might impact the certification process.
Google is not providing brokers with any specificity on whether license applications might get approved or denied. While when applying for a license with an official regulatory authority, brokers have some clarity, the uncertainty element here is significant.
If your brokerage company has not been proactive when communicating with Google on the matter, perhaps its time for you to get moving. Reports from multiple firms in the industry suggest that the process is quite demanding and slow.
We are inviting our readers to share their experience on the matter. Sharing insights as to how has the search giant been handling the advertising ban can help the industry weather the storm.