A joint investigation by the Financial Times and Young Money Blog has found that Revolut fabricated statistics that appeared in its most recent advertising campaign.
The firm, which claimed to know how many vegan sausage rolls had been bought in January and the number of single takeaways ordered last Valentines Day, has now been referred to the Financial Conduct Authority, who will investigate if the advert misled the public about how financial firms use our data.
The Young Money Blog received confirmation from the Advertising Standards Authority that the complaint had been passed onto Britain’s financial regulator after enquiries by the FT resulted in Revolut admitting that it “made up” the information.
The new developments were reported in a front page scoop and featured online news story for the Financial Times, written by personal finance editor Claer Barrett, and featuring my comment towards the end.
The new developments were also covered in Claer’s column for FT Money and subsequently appeared on the BBC News homepage, as well as the Telegraph, The Drum, City AM, the Independent and other outlets.
The Young Money Blog sparked a wide debate about the ethics of fintech advertising last week when our tweets about the advertising campaign went viral.
Iona Bain, founder and editor of the Young Money Blog, comments:
We should let the probe take its course and not pre-judge its outcome. But I am glad that my concerns about the data featured in this advert are being taken seriously by the regulator. This was never about “snowflakes” being unduly offended or finance nerds fixating on a trivial marketing misstep. This has triggered an important debate about how financial companies should use our data and talk to us, the general public, in their marketing. Financial services aren’t famed for being honest, transparent and trustworthy – but we have expected a new raft of “challenger” banks and so-called “fintech” outfits to be different. I am disappointed that the firm is yet to fully concede that these adverts were a misguided attempt at humour – because personal banking data is no laughing matter.