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The FSA has now been replaced by two new regulatory bodies.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