The FCA has decided to put out a warning to consumers regarding several websites this week.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority has warned of 15 unregistered firms providing financial services or products in the UK without the financial watchdog’s authorization.
Among them is USG FX, which we reported earlier that its FCA license was canceled on December 16, 2022, as the FX and CFD broker faces severe headwinds globally, with the ASIC-regulated entity having declared bankruptcy last year.
Some may be FX and Crypto scams
The 14 other websites are unauthorised firms, some of them possibly FX and Crypto scams, based on easily spotted features that are usually found in fraudulent schemes.
The FCA has decided to put out a warning to consumers regarding several websites this week, including:
The UK regulator reminded consumers that almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised or registered by the FCA.
If UK residents decide to use these firms’ services, they will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so they are unlikely to get their money back if things go wrong.
“Be aware that some firms may give out other details or change their contact details over time to new email addresses, telephone numbers or physical addresses”, the regulator stated and explained how to protect oneself.
“Dealing with financial firms that are authorised or registered by us gives you greater protection if things go wrong. Check the Financial Services (FS) Register to ensure they are authorised or registered. It has information on firms and individuals that are, or have been, regulated by us.
“If you used an authorised firm or registered firm, access to the Financial Ombudsman Service and FSCS protection will depend on the investment you are making, the service the firm is providing, and the permissions the firm has. If you would like further information about protection, the authorised or registered firm should be able to help. “If a firm does not appear on the FS Register but claims it does, contact our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.”
The FCA also advised consumers to contact the helpline if they have been approached by an unauthorised or scam firm.