The Financial Services Register – What’s It and Why Do You Need It?

What’s the Financial Services Register? Find Out the Benefits of the Financial Service Register and How to Use It.
  • Last Updated: 07 Feb 2024
  • Fact Checked
  • Our team recently fact checked this article for accuracy. However, things do change, so please do your own research.

Contributors:

Francis Hui

Key Takeaways

  • The UK's Financial Services Register is a public record of firms, individuals, and other bodies regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • To check the Register in the UK, you can use the online search function on the Financial Conduct Authority's website.
  • Being registered is critical as it signifies that the firm or individual is authorised and meets the standards set by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.
  • It's generally riskier to trust a company not listed on the Register as it means they're not regulated or authorised by the UK's financial regulatory bodies.
  • If you encounter a company not listed on the Register, you can report them to the Financial Conduct Authority using their online contact form.

We’re sure you don’t want to be swindled out of your hard-earned money by potentially unscrupulous lenders, which is why you need to know how to access and use the Financial Services Register.

The Financial Services Register lists all regulated financial services and individuals approved to perform specified functions. It's a public record.

For peace of mind, you’ll want to use their online directory to find out if you are working with a registered company or individual and find out, "Is it safe to release equity?"

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    Our editorial team at Every Investor strives to keep you up-to-date with the latest information you need. We’ve done the research for you.

    Here’s what we want to share with you about the Financial Services Register.

    What Is the Purpose of the Financial Services Register in the UK?

    The Financial Services Register in the UK serves a vital purpose in maintaining transparency and fostering trust in the financial industry.

    It is a public record that provides information about firms, individuals and other bodies that are, or have been, authorised by the UK's financial regulatory bodies - the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    Aside from its essential regulatory function, it also offers protection to consumers.

    It allows anyone to check the status of an entity before engaging in financial transactions, thereby aiding in fraud prevention.

    It's a unique tool that empowers consumers, giving them the information necessary to make informed decisions.

    Thus, the Register not only promotes ethical practices in the financial industry but also safeguards the interests of its consumers.

    Using the Financial Services Register

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)1 approves almost all financial services activities in the UK and it manages the Register.

    You can find firms and people in the Financial Services Register (the Register), as well as the activities for which firms have permits.

    Services you can search on the Register include‌:

    • banking
    • investments
    • insurance
    • borrowing
    • mortgages
    • credit cards
    • money transfer

    We recommend you always double-check that the company your are working with is on the Register and that its permissions/activities correspond to the service it’s providing you.

    The Register is a list of all the companies and individuals who are currently or previously approved to engage in regulated activities. 

    It reveals whether the PRA2 and/or the FCA regulate the firm your are using or planning to use. 

    You can also confirm what they're allowed to do and what your rights are when dealing with them.

    Important to note

    It’s recommended that you use only the contact information stated on the Register. 

    Many con artists pose as respectable businesses. 

    Before conducting business with a company, check the contact information on the Register to make sure your are working with the right one.

    Unauthorised Firms

    The Register includes, with prominent warnings, firms accused of offering regulated items or services without the proper authorization, or of running scams.

    Other information on unlicensed businesses includes the various details provided and whether they claim to be from a legitimate, licenced business.

    The Financial Ombudsman Service3 or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)4 may not cover you if you deal with an unregulated firm (or individual).

    Publication of Directory Persons Data

    The FS Register now publishes Directory Persons Data for firms regulated only by the FCA and firms regulated by both the FCA and the PRA. 

    Firms that are regulated alone and dually regulated must adhere to the Policy. 

    You can double-check the FS Register for the details of anyone hired to do regulated activities on behalf of a firm, including current roles and any disciplinary or regulatory action.

    For additional information, go to the Directory of Certified and Assessed Persons website5.

    Getting Data Extracts

    You can purchase a regular subscription or a once-off data 'cut' if you want to use data from the Register. 

    The data is available on CD or via the Internet. 

    You can find more information regarding the Register Extract Service (RES)6.

    You can also register for the FS Register API Developer Portal. 

    This service, which is currently free, allows users to generate a unique key for accessing the Register APIs and provides self-help support materials.

    Accessing the Register

    Web browsers that enable JavaScript and accept session-based cookies are required for some FCA web pages and web-based applications. It sets the major web browsers up to handle these needs by default.

    Pages and web-based applications will work with Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge in their current stable release and one preceding release.

    Regarding the reCaptcha challenge used on this site, please refer to Google's minimum criteria. It is necessary to have access to Google.com domains.

    Common Questions

    What Is the UK's Financial Services Register

    How Do I Check the Financial Services Register in the UK

    Why Is Being Registered on the Financial Services Register Important

    Can I Trust a Company Not Listed on the Financial Services Register

    How to Report a Company Not Listed on the Financial Services Register

    In Conclusion

    The Financial Services Register is a public record that lists all regulated and approved financial services and individuals.

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which approves almost all financial services activities in the UK, manages the Register. 

    To identify a registered service, firm, or individual, you can search via their internet directory. You will also be able to confirm the activities it may perform.

    It’s recommended you always double-check that the company or individual your are working with is on the Register and that its permissions/activities correspond to the service it provides.

    The Register also includes, with prominent warnings, firms accused of offering regulated items or services without the proper authorization or of running scams.

    Utilising the Financial Services Register will help you avoid scams and ensure you are working with legitimate financial service providers.  

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