Warnings from foreign regulators - Financial Conduct Authority

Warnings from foreign regulators

We will tell you about unauthorised firms offering financial services in the UK but foreign regulators also warn about unauthorised firms operating in their country. Search the IOSCO list of firms that foreign regulators think you should avoid.

Almost all firms offering financial services in the UK must be authorised by us but some can instead be regulated in the country where they have their head office.

Unfortunately there are firms based abroad that operate without being authorised by us or the financial services regulator in their home country, and some knowingly run scams.

You should only deal with a financial services firm that is authorised to operate in the UK, and check the Register to ensure it is.

If a firm does not appear on our Register but claims it does, search for it in the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) investor alerts list and contact our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.

You should also beware of fraudsters pretending to be from a firm authorised by us, even if you are told it is based abroad, as it could be what we call a 'cloned firm'. If you are cold-called by a financial services firm always ring them back on the switchboard number given on our Register.

Do not assume a firm is legitimate just because it does not appear in the IOSCO list – these firms frequently change their name and it may not have been reported to us yet.

You should take more steps to protect yourself from unauthorised firms. You can also find out about unauthorised firms to avoid and investment scams.