If life insurance and tax-free savings books are so popular in the hearts of the French, it is perhaps because these are the products they know best. Leading the monitoring of promotional communications from AMF financial institutions for 2021 (1) are tax-exempt savings accounts and life insurance contracts. The first concern 3 out of 10 advertisements, the second 1 out of 3.
Financial benefits rather than investment supports
Communication on life insurance focuses more on the financial benefits of subscription than on investment vehicles. This remark can extend to investments in general, whether it is the boosted rates or the reduced fees that are put forward. However, the AMF notes a breakthrough in SRI in 2021, which is the subject of approximately one advertisement in six management companies.
Non-guaranteed products and investment services are neglected: collective investment schemes and investment services occupy only 11% of communications, compared to 20% in 2020 or 30% in 2019.
Instead, stock exchange investment services and financial institutions highlighted the PEA and reduced fees for equity transactions. In 2021, the AMF saw numerous advertisements relating to offers of financial securities to the public, in particular IPOs.
Neo-brokers are spreading
1 out of 3 advertisements in 2021 encourages people to seek the services of an establishment and come from management companies for half, CIF and major banking networks. 18% of advertisements for investment products and services came from new online brokers operating under the freedom to provide service from another European Union country. Neo-brokers target a young audience thanks to mobile applications with polished interfaces, presenting a playful approach to investment and zero commission pricing.
The AMF’s monitoring work also concerns off-the-shelf advertising. Among these are:
– advertisements presenting the advantages and risks of products in an unbalanced way
– a sustainable dimension highlighted disproportionately without this corresponding to significant and measurable commitments
– unauthorized advertising, in particular from companies offering to invest in digital assets without first registering with the AMF
– advertisements praising the high yield of alternative investments which turn out to be scams (Forex, crypto-assets, nursing homes, etc.)
(1) Performed on 36 establishments, including 9 insurers and 13 pure players. The communications analyzed concern advertisements broadcast on the internet, in the print and audiovisual press.