Who regulates the people who sell me financial products?

The Financial Conduct Authority regulates financial companies and it is their responsibility to make sure that companies adhere to strict regulations. 

Who regulates financial products?

The financial company you buy from will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the UK's financial regulator. The FCA replaced the FSA in April this year. 

The FSA has now been replaced by two new regulatory bodies. These are:

  • Prudential Regulatory Authority - which will be responsible for promoting the stable and prudent operation of the financial system through regulation
  • Financial Conduct Authority - which will be responsible for the regulation of conduct in retail

If a financial company that's regulated by the FCA goes bust, or can't pay your claim, you're protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if you have suffered financial loss.

The Financial Conduct Authority will investigate problems with products and markets, but for individual complaints and claims for redress, you should complain to the provider first, and then to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Who regulates IFAs?

Independent financial advisers (IFAs), like the banks and companies that sell you financial products, are regulated by the FCA.

In order to register with the FCA, financial advisers need to have a Certificate of Financial Planning (Cert FP). 

There are many other financial advice qualifications, but the CERT FP is the only one they're required to have.

If you need to complain about your IFA, complain directly to your IFA first. 

If they can't or won't resolve your issue within eight weeks, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.

I’m still confused!

You can rely on Which? to give you independent money advice and guidance. We run regular live web chats to help answer your consumer queries. 

We also have a free Which? Money Helpline available to all Which? members. Subscribe today for just £1 for one month. 

The Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB) is the organisation formally responsible for helping people make informed decisions about money. 

It was set up by the FCA, so there’s no selling and it's jargon-free.

The Money Advice Service also provides free unbiased and independent financial advice.

Please tell us what you think of the Which? Consumer Rights website.

Your feedback is vital in helping us improve this site. All data will be treated confidentially. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Please take our survey so we can improve our website for you and others like you.