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FCA makes it easier to identify unauthorised advice firms

UK watchdog ‘strongly suggests’ some firms be avoided

Outgoing FCA chair warns on cryptocurrency and Brexit


The Financial Conduct Authority has added a search function to its financial services register to help people find a local adviser but has put warnings against some of the firms listed.

Individuals can search for an advice firm by either inputting a post code or the name/reference code of a particular firm.

A second filter is applied for the type of advice the person needs: mortgages, investments, pensions or debt.

At a glance, individuals can find out basic information; such as the firm’s address, permissions and register status.

The search function only allows users to search for retail firms, not individuals.


One key element of the search is that the FCA has highlighted in bold, red text when firms are “Unauthorised”.

Underneath it reads: “We strongly suggest you avoid dealing with this firm.”

Another warning written in bold, red text is: “Authorised – in liquidation”.


The remaining firms are listed as either authorised, an authorised representative or an authorised representative – introducer.

The role of introducers has been in the spotlight recently, with questions around the level of liability they do, and should, face when mis-selling occurs.

In August, the FCA revealed that is had “commenced proceedings” against two unregulated pension introducers.

The new function should help individuals ensure that the companies they are engaged with are appropriately authorised.

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