The Financial Conduct Authority
The FCA regulates and supervises the conduct of more than 50,000 firms in the UK that provide financial products and services to both UK and international customers.
The Financial Services Register is a public record that shows details of firms, individuals and other bodies that are, or have been, regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and/or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It also has information on firms regulated by the Financial Services Authority that had cancelled or stopped being regulated before April 2013.
Why search the Register?
You can search the Register to find out whether a firm you are using, or plan to do business with, is authorised or by the PRA and/or FCA, or is exempt. You can also see if a consumer credit firm has interim permission to provide consumer credit.
Other information you can see about a firm or individual includes:
the main contact details, trading names and other basic information
the 'status' of a firm or individual, e.g. whether they are authorised or approved
the name and basic details of some firms and individuals that are providing products or services in the UK or abroad without the required authorisation, approval or exemption from regulation
Under the new Senior Managers and Certification Regime, effective from 7 March 2016, which covers banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA designated investment firms, only Senior Managers are pre-approved. Firms now assess other functions such as Customer Functions (CF30s) (including retail investment advisers). Individuals will show a current status of ‘Inactive’ on the registered register in these firms if they used to be approved by the FCA.
If an adviser is not listed, or shown as ‘inactive’, and you would like to check their status, you should confirm this directly with the firm the adviser is currently working with.
If you deal with a firm (or individual) that is not regulated you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.
You can also search the Register for individuals that work in an authorised firm and perform some important tasks that have been approved by the FCA or PRA.
There are some general things we should all do to avoid scams:
Treat all unexpected calls, emails and text messages with caution. Don’t assume they’re genuine, even if the person seems to know some basic information about you.
Don’t be pressured into acting quickly. A genuine bank or financial services firm won’t mind waiting if you want time to think.
If you’re buying a financial product such as a loan, insurance, investment or pension, only deal with a FCA-authorised firm – check the FCA Register to see if the firm is registered. Always access the Register from the FCA website, rather than through links in emails or on a firm’s website (it might be part of the scam).
Always double-check the URL and contact details of a firm in case it’s a ‘clone firm’ pretending to be a real firm, such as your bank or a genuine investment firm.
Check the list of unauthorised firms and individuals the FCA have received complaints about. If the firm isn’t on the list, don’t assume it’s legitimate – it may not have been reported to the FCA yet.
Action Fraud, Take 5 and Money Advice Service have more advice on the basic things everyone should do to avoid scams.
Capital Fleet Solutions Ltd are credit brokers not lenders and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Company No: 11515911, FCA No: 816974, ICO No: ZA481103