The Banco de España sets out measures to protect customers ensuring that banks’ advertising is clear, impartial and not misleading


Along with the 2017 Complaints Report, the Banco de España published the appendices on the advertising of banking products and services by supervised institutionsAbre en ventana nueva, detailing the results of its supervisory activities.

Bank advertising is the first contact customers have with their bank, and it can have a bearing on their economic behaviour. With the advent of new communications channels, there has been an increase in advertising by banks.

The general rules governing advertising include broad principles for consumer protection that outline the minimum content and format of promotional messages. The Banco de España has moreover developed consumer safeguards ensuring that banks’ advertising is clear, sufficient, impartial and not misleading, as stipulated in the applicable legislation.

It has also carried out purpose-designed supervisory work in this area. The Banco de España analysed 9,000 adverts circulated by 76 institutions and found 14.4% of them to be wanting in some way.

In terms of product type, most of the advertisements were for personal loans (39%), followed by accounts and deposits (24%) and cards (9%).

Broken down by advertising medium, the share of advertisements on digital channels was notable at 48%, with posters and traditional mailing some way behind at 27% and 11%, respectively.

The main results of this work by the Banco de España have been enhanced discipline on the part of the banks and closer involvement by governing bodies and internal control functions in the area of banking advertising.

The oversight of bank advertising will continue in order to ensure that high standards are maintained.

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