What’s the Financial Services Register?

The Financial Services Register – What Is It & Why Do You Need It?
Contributors: Nicola Date, Katherine Read. Edited by Rachel Wait & Reviewed by Francis Hui
What’s the Financial Services Register? Find Out the Benefits of the Financial Service Register & How to Use It. Don’t Get Caught by Scammers.

We’re sure you don’t want to get swindled out of your hard-earned money, 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 is 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.

As experts in our field, we discuss the following in this article:

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

    Here’s what we found out about the Financial Services Register.

    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 you’re 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 you’re 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 you’re 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 they provide and whether they’re claiming 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 our 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 webpages and web-based applications. They set 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 FCA Register For?

    Who Needs to Register With the FCA?

    How Do I Know if a Financial Advisor Is Legit?

    How Long Does FCA Registration Take?

    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 you’re 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.  

    Editorial Note: This content has been independently collected by the EveryInvestor team and is offered on a non-advised basis. EveryInvestor may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. Learn more about our editorial guidelines.