Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA launches revamped register

FCA launches revamped register

The Financial Conduct Authority's revamped register of regulated firms has gone live today (July 27) promising a "simpler design and clearer language" in a bid to protect consumers. 

Under the new design the regulator said it had made information regarding past actions against individuals or firms more "prominent", as part of its fight against unauthorised firms and scams. 

In recent months the financial services register, which in the past year had more than seven million unique users, has found itself the target of fraudsters attempting to clone the webpage. 

Last week the FCA warned it was attempting to have a cloned version of the register taken down after in June a fake register surfaced which claimed to advertise financial adviser jobs and offer "job interview tips". 

Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision in retail and authorisations at the FCA, said: "These changes will make it easier for users to navigate and understand the register, and in doing so, help them avoid financial harm such as scams by unauthorised firms and individuals."

The register has come under fire from the FCA's own watchdog, the Complaints Commissioner, in recent years for "serious inaccuracies" which in some cases were exploited by fraudsters to clone inactive firms and scam consumers.  

Meanwhile the government is set to bestow new powers on the financial regulator which will overhaul the way in which it can cancel the authorisation of firms no longer carrying out regulated activities. 

According to the City watchdog's own calculations at any one time there are 300 to 400 firms no longer carrying out regulated activities which have not requested to cancel their authorisations. 

The government said this posed a risk to consumers, particularly surrounding inaccuracies on the FCA register. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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