The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has announced it will launch a new directory of authorised firms, following a Telegraph Money campaign that exposed numerous errors and weak spots in the current register that left consumers at risk of fraud and risky investment schemes.
The Financial Services Register is meant to provide reliable information for consumers to find out whether a firm is reputable, but poor record keeping errors and security flaws on the database have left many users significantly out of pocket.
One reader, Gilbert West, 69, lost £44,275 to scammers who posed as a legitimate firm that had in fact ceased trading. A security breach also allowed third parties to manipulate the information displayed to consumers, leading to misguided investments in unauthorised firms.
The new directory will help consumers to protect themselves from unauthorised individuals by clearly and easily identifying individuals who have been banned, the FCA said.
The FCA first opened a consultation on a new directory in April 2018, as new rules mean certain information on the old register will no longer be available. It aims to be more comprehensive and will enable firms to make their staff known to customers, making it easier to spot fraudsters or dodgy firms.