Financial regulators are launching a new online search tool that makes spotting scammers and fraudsters easier.
The new site will start on September 7, 2015, on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) web site.
The new register links financial advisers and firms offering consumer credit under a single category for the first time.
The FCA took over responsibility for consumer credit licensing earlier in the year.
The refined search results will highlight whether a firm, adviser or collective investment scheme is authorised in the UK and if dealings with them are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Waging war against fraudsters
Thousands of known scammers and advisors will have their details highlighted in red so they are easy to spot, while the FCA will publish more information about their activities and what to do if they contact you.
The list will be updated regularly.
Financial and legal terms will also have clearer explanations to help consumers understand their rights and the obligations of financial advisors.
“We are waging an ongoing fight against scammers and what to help consumers safeguard their money by exposing the fraudsters and individuals giving unauthorised financial and investment advice,” said an FCA spokesman.
“This new service is designed to make spotting scammers simpler for consumers.”
Warnings about bogus advisers – Worldwide
No bogus adviser alerts on the International Organisation of Securities Commissions web site this week.
Warnings about bogus advisers – UK
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) web site has these warnings this week:
- Fundsaver Services Ltd (www.ubroker.com)
- Ashmore Wealth Funds (clone web site)
- De Vere Group / De Vere & Partners UK Ltd (clone web site)
Dealing with an unregulated firm
If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.
Checking if a firm is regulated
Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.
Reporting a suspected bogus adviser