Find out how to check if a firm is authorised, what it means if you’re using an Appointed Representative, and what to do if a firm is unauthorised.First published: 20/03/2023 Last updated: 04/05/2023 See all updates
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In the UK, almost all financial firms must be authorised by us.
Being authorised means that firms must meet certain standards and follow our rules.
These rules are there to make sure that you’re treated fairly, you’re protected, and the products and services you’re offered are suitable.
Search for the firm by name, or by using its firm reference number (FRN).
If the firm is authorised, check what activities and services it has permission for, to help make sure you’re protected if something goes wrong.
Check the firm’s contact details and make sure they match the contact details you’ve been given. If there aren’t any contact details listed, or the firm says they’re out of date, call us on 0800 111 6768.
If the firm is authorised but you’re not sure what protections you have, ask the firm using the details on the FS Register. If you’re struggling to check the FS Register, find out how to contact us.
You may notice that some firms on the FS Register are listed as Appointed Representatives (ARs). This means they’re carrying out activities on behalf of another firm, known as their principal.
ARs can have more than one principal. The principal agrees what activities the AR can do and is responsible for that business.
It’s important you check with the principal what these activities are. If the AR has gone beyond the activities the principal has allowed, you may not be protected by the Financial Ombudsman or the FSCS if something goes wrong.
You can find contact details for ARs and principal firms on the FS Register.