The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released figures to show that it is working hard with the financial service industry to crack down on fraud.
To help customers find a Financial Adviser, the FCA scans over 100,00 websites every single day, to check for fraud and scams. That’s a lot. It’s able to do this because of its long-term investment into improved IT systems. Over the last few years, they have recruited over 100 IT specialists to help. Using advanced algorithms, the FCA systems are able to scan the web for finance related content.
In terms of scam and unregulated adverts, the FCA has intervened to pull over 500 online and offline advertisements. When you add in the work being done by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) progress is being made. This work will certainly help customers find a Financial Adviser, rather than fall into a scam trap.
But that’s just part of the problem.
The FT Adviser (24/6/22) has just reported on a case where an award by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) hasn’t been paid to a client. It seems that the FOS upheld a complaint against a Claims Management Company deducting fees from a claim. But despite the award the CMC hasn’t paid the client. FOS say they can’t enforce payment and so the customer now has to go to court to sue the CMC. It seems strange that the FOS can’t enforce its own awards of damages. Even stranger that the FCA can’t intervene. After all they are regulating a firm that won’t pay its own fines.
Doesn’t seem like they are helping customers to fins a financial adviser in this case. At least not a good one!
Meanwhile, the latest figures from FOS on complaints showed that the majority are now about bank current accounts. In particular complains about push fraud. That’s where people are tricked into making transfers into accounts they think are genuine. Last year FOS dealt with almost 10,000 of these types of issues. Overall, FOS dealt with 200,000 complaints.