Dealing with firms based in Gibraltar

Check if you’re protected and how to complain if you're dealing with a Gibraltar-based firm that’s passporting into the UK.

First published: 19/06/2024 Last updated: 19/06/2024

Financial services firms that are authorised in Gibraltar can provide services in the UK via a passport.

They can do this either by setting up a physical presence in the UK (referred to as a branch passport) or by providing services from Gibraltar without a physical presence in the UK (referred to as a services passport).

It's important to know that firms using a passport won’t have been assessed or authorised by us or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

If you have any concerns about a firm passporting into the UK from Gibraltar, you should contact us.

How to tell if a firm is based in Gibraltar

  1. Search for the firm on our Financial Services Register.
  2. On the firm's page, under the section 'Regulated activities that this non-UK firm can carry out in the UK' it will show that the firm is based in Gibraltar.

What this means for you

While Gibraltar-based firms can provide services in the UK via their passport, you may not have the same protections as you would if you were dealing with a UK authorised firm. For example, you may not be protected by:

Before dealing with a Gibraltar-based firm, you should check with the firm how you’d be protected if something went wrong and you wanted to complain, or if the firm went out of business.

Check how to complain

If the firm has a branch in the UK

  1. In the first instance, you should contact the firm and formally raise your complaint.
  2. If you’re unhappy with the firm's response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman as long as the activity was carried out by a branch in the UK.  

If the firm does not have a branch in the UK 

If the activity was carried out from Gibraltar, you’ll generally only be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman if the firm has joined its voluntary jurisdiction. This means that the firm has applied to the Financial Ombudsman so that it can look at complaints about the firm.  

You should ask the firm if it has joined the Financial Ombudsman’s voluntary jurisdiction. 

There isn’t an out-of-court dispute resolution scheme in Gibraltar. So if you're not able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman, you’ll need to take your claim to court. 

Find out more about the types of complaints the Financial Ombudsman can help with, including the time limits for making a complaint. 

Check you're protected if the firm fails

FSCS coverage will depend on the type of product and whether the firm has a UK branch or not.