FCA Register unclear


Article by Phil

The Complaints Commissioner has formally criticised the FCA (reported 17th February) for the format and condition of its online register (of firms and Independent Financial Advisors), following its investigation into the London and Capital Finance )LCF) mini bond mis-selling scandal. Up to 14,000 customers lost over £230 million under the scheme back in 2018.

The Commissioner criticised the FCA register as being unclear and difficult to interpret and read (from a consumer perspective). The criticism was that LCF investors thought that they were buying a regulated product when they looked at the FCA register, because of the unclear language. The FCA disagrees with the findings and intends to issue a statement on the matter.

This is not the first time the FCA register has come under fire. There are numerous cases over the past few years where the FCA has had to pay compensation to both advisers and advice firms for the inaccuracy of the register. If you have a look at the register (link above) and search for Christina Clegg Financial Planning Services Limited, you will see what is causing confusion. The information on the register is very technical, covering all the various areas of advice which we are regulated and authorised to provide.

This starts by telling you that we are an Article 3 Mifid Exempt firm. What does that mean you might wonder? Indeed. This is one of the reasons that the register can be seen as being difficult to understand.

It then goes on to list the different areas including Insurance, Mortgages and Home Finance, Consumer Credit, Pensions, Investments and then Other Activities. This includes those that are not regulated including Consumer Buy to Let and Consumer Buy to Let business.

It might be a good idea for the FCA to overhaul the register from a consumer perspective whilst keeping the technical register for industry purposes.

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