HKMA Reveals Consumer Protection Gaps in Financial Sector’s Digital Marketing

HKMA Reveals Consumer Protection Gaps in Financial Sector’s Digital Marketing

by December 21, 2023

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) pinpointed several critical areas that authorised financial institutions need to address in their digital marketing efforts in a recent thematic review.

Key issues include the rigorous assessment of marketing materials, effective selection and management of third parties such as personal financial service platforms and influencers, promoting informed decision-making among customers, and the adept handling of influencer marketing.

This review is in line with the enhancements made to the Code of Banking Practice (CoBP), which were introduced in December 2021 to improve customer experience and protection in the digital banking environment.

The digitalisation trend has markedly transformed how the financial services industry interacts with customers. Financial institutions are increasingly leveraging digital channels, including third-party platforms and social media influencers, for marketing banking products and services. While these channels expand customer outreach, they also introduce new consumer protection challenges.

Alongside these issues, the HKMA noted several commendable practices adopted by financial institutions. While not compulsory, these practices offer valuable guidance for maintaining high standards of consumer protection in digital marketing.

Following the further revised CoBP in December 2023, the HKMA is urging financial institutions to review and upgrade their digital marketing strategies to ensure adherence to consumer protection principles.

Alan Au

Alan Au

“These new digital marketing channels provide new opportunities to reach out to a wider audience and more potential customers on the one hand, and may also necessitate new considerations from consumer protection perspectives on the other hand.


AIs [authorised institutions] are reminded to put in place proper consumer protection measures for conducting marketing activities through these channels,”

said Alan Au, Executive Director for Banking Conduct at HKMA in a circular.


Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik