FCA launches updated Financial Services Register

The FCA has announced the launch of its updated Financial Services (FS) Register which includes a simpler design and clearer language.

The regulator said its redesign aims to help consumers protect themselves from harm and will provide a better experience for the Register’s users.

The Register, which had more than 7 million unique users in the past year, is a vital service for anyone that wants to see firms and approved individuals that are involved with regulated activities. The FCA suggested it can help consumers avoid scams and also enables firms to cross-check references and make their key staff known to customers.

The enhanced Register, which has been tested with consumers and other users to ensure it is easier to understand, also includes important information being made more prominent – such as past actions against individuals and firms – information on consumer protections, as well as optimisation for some mobile devices.

The FCA said it will review and improve the FS Register on an ongoing basis and added that it is currently proposing to extend the previous deadline of 9 December 2020 for solo-regulated firms to submit information about Directory Persons to the Register, to 31 March 2021.

FCA executive director of supervision – retail and authorisations, Jonathan Davidson, said: “The FS Register is an important tool for both the consumers and firms who use it. 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.”

Personal Finance Society CEO, Keith Richards, welcomed the FCA’s announcement and added: “In light of the significant impacts we have seen on households across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for high quality financial advice has only grown, but also has the activities of criminals and scams.

“Therefore, providing a central register which can be relied upon by consumers and ensuring they are well informed is a vital part of bouncing back from the current economic downturn whilst ensuring the public have somewhere to turn.”

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