The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched its new Financial Services Register. The Register is intended to make it easier to search for firms, individuals and other bodies authorised by the FCA and/or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). It’s a single search mechanism with clearer language and help to explain technical terms. If you click on the name of a firm or person you can also get their main contact details, trading names and other basic information.

There is also information on firms regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that had cancelled or stopped being regulated before April 2013 (when the FSA was replaced by the FCA and PRA).

Red alerts

For the first time, firms and other people who don’t have the correct authorisations or who are known to be running scams are included in the Register. These firms will be highlighted in red with a warning symbol, to make clear they should be avoided. The Register also includes details of aliases used and fraudsters who are pretending to be from genuine authorised businesses.

The inclusion of the information will hopefully help people to avoid financial scams and to ensure that they have the protections they expect. If you deal with a firm or person that is not regulated and something goes wrong, you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Interim permissions

The Register brings in firms with interim permissions, removing the need to search the Consumer Credit Interim Permission register separately. The Regulated Covered Bonds Register (detailing regulated covered bonds and their issuers) and the Mutuals Public Register (listing building societies, credit unions and other registered societies under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014) are not included in the new Financial Services Register so still have to be searched separately.

For more information, email blogs@gateleyplc.com.

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This blog is intended only as a synopsis of certain recent developments. If any matter referred to in this blog is sought to be relied upon, further advice should be obtained.