Under the Microscope: 4 Most-Regulated Industries

While some sectors seem to have considerable leeway in how they’re allowed to operate and communicate with customers, other industries must navigate through a series of checks and balances to ensure they adhere to strict compliance measures – usually with hefty fines attached if they step out of line.

Here’s a rundown of four industries that are required to jump through a plethora of legal flaming-hoops to maintain a good relationship with their governing bodies:

Banking services

When it comes to the most heavily-regulated sector, you’d struggle to find one more scrutinised than banking and financial services. Of course, that’s not without good reason. Dealing with people’s money can have far-reaching implications for their financial well-being and retirement (not to mention the recent global economic crises, widely thought to have been perpetuated by nefarious banking practices).

Fines for compliance breaches have been vast, with a 2016 report by the New City Agenda think-tank finding that banks had shelled out £53bn in fines over the past 15 years. The PPI backlash alone cost over £37bn, four times more than the bill for the London Olympics. From new start-ups like PropertyMoose to established firms like MoneyPlus, everyone is held to the same standards.  

It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the industry is now under so much scrutiny.

Gaming industry

Covering areas such as sports betting, bingo and casino, this sector is subject to strict safeguarding rules, to ensure players are not waging beyond their means. It’s one of the few industries where operators are expected to police the activity of their customer base, or face enormous fines.

Some critics have questioned why fast/junk food or alcohol providers aren’t held responsible for chronic conditions that can develop in those who frequently purchase their products, which cost the NHS billions to treat every year. Others counter that a ‘sin tax’ increasingly imposed for both should dissuade people from over-consumption.

Nonetheless, the gaming industry has a duty of care to its customers. One of the main restrictions is in how the industry is portrayed. For example, it can never promise a lavish lifestyle or represent itself as the “solution” to people’s financial problems.

Like with financial services, online gaming providers such as our brand partners Betfred, Kerching Casino, and Prospect Hall have an important responsibility to safeguard their customers.

Forex trading

Online foreign exchange (Forex) trading is the world’s fastest-growing market, with a daily volume of $5.5tn. Retail trading (done by individuals rather than companies) accounts for around a quarter of this.

The value of a currency has a dramatic impact on the overall economy of a country, as well as the global financial landscape. There are significant political implications for forex trading platforms, along with the duty of care for traders.

It’s fair to say that the industry has a questionable reputation, since many people are wary about the legitimacy of brokerage companies. Thanks to strict compliance guidelines, unscrupulous operators have been forced out of trading and new names like Tradefred and Capital Unit have emerged. Online forex trading is increasingly prevalent on social media and financial websites, so compliance is highly scrutinised by local and international regulatory bodies.

With potentially large sums of money involved, this risk is significantly heightened – so enhanced regulation is necessary.

Medical Industry

Chances are that, at some point in our lives, we are going to rely on services from the medical sector. Whether that’s having a filling at the dentist, mending a broken bone at the hospital, or simply visiting the GP for a check-up, we’re all likely to have a least one encounter with the medical world.

For many, that goes by fairly stress-free but, for others, it can turn out not quite as planned. That’s why the medical industry is regulated to a serious degree. At the end of the day, the professionals that are treating us are quite literally working with people’s lives.

In the UK, the regulation of health care is made up of two main elements. The first is the regulation of the quality and safety of care offered by health care providers, which is currently managed by the Care Quality Commission, also known as the CQC.

Secondly, is the regulation of the market in health care services, which is the responsibility of Monitor (in relation to foundation trusts) and the Department of Health.

That isn’t where it ends, either. There are plenty of other parts that have to abide by their own regulations.

Take patient records, for example, they all have to remain confidential under the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act. Medicines and medical drugs are the same, too, falling under the watchful eye of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

You name it in the medical world, and there’s a good chance it will have its own individual and collective regulations to follow.

Is It Necessary?

The reality is regulation is here for a reason. Without it, people could be putting themselves, their business, or (in the most extreme case) the global economy at risk.

It is a serious topic that is not to be messed with, as an attempt to bend the rules could end in catastrophic circumstances, whatever the industry. That isn’t to say that they can’t be worked with and many of the brands within the industries mentioned above are still enjoying huge success.

Marketing is one of them and there are still plenty of ways that companies can advertise. All they need is the right tools and a bit of expert know-how to point them in the right direction.

As experts in marketing for highly-regulated industries, ActiveWin can help navigate your way to safety. With over 100 experts on hand, we can guide you to success in a range of services including PPC and Media Buying, Affiliate Marketing, SEO and Content, CRM, and Customer Support.