40% of bogus financial firms are still trading online


More than 140 warnings about bogus financial advisers, pension unlocking schemes and investment scams have been posted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in just four months.

Despite action by the FCA to close down fraudsters and scams, 31 of 74 web sites posted online by these firms are still operating.

These warnings are on the FCA web site, which experts claim are unlikely to be seen by prospective clients coming into contact with the fraudsters.

Although the FCA is a powerful regulator in the UK, with powers to discipline and fine rogue financial advisers and firms, dealing with offshore scammers is far harder.

These bogus firms pretend they are authorised to give professional financial advice in the UK, but simply try to confuse customers by cloning popular websites and setting up with similar business and domain names.

Some firms that are closed by the FCA can set up again online within a few hours.

An FCA spokesman said: “We have a wide range of civil and criminal powers to stop firms and individuals from offering bogus advice to take money from consumers.

“We listen to any tips or information about unauthorised firms either operating in the UK or trying to target customers here from overseas.”

£1.3 billion compensation for missold credit card protection

Card Protection Plan (CPP) and 13 high street banks and credit card issuers have agreed to pay compensation to customers who were missold CPP’s card protection and identity protection policies.

Seven million customers who bought about 23 million policies will soon receive a letter from CPP giving more information about the deal. Compensation could add up to £1.3 billion. Payments will vary for customers, depending on the type of policy bought and the length of time they held the cover.

Unregulated firms posing as bogus financial advisers

Here is a list of warnings published by the FCA this week:

Dealing with an unregulated firm

If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.

Checking if a firm is regulated

Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.

Reporting a suspected bogus adviser

Find out how to report unauthorised advisers on the FCA web site

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