The FCA were established on 1st April 2013 and took over from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the responsibility for conduct and relevant prudential regulation. They regulate the conduct of more than 56,000 businesses including financial advisors, general insurance companies, insurance intermediaries, life insurers and mutual societies amongst many other financial service providers.
Consumers have the peace of mind that when the FCA find that firms are not following the rules in place, they will intervene and impose penalties where necessary, stop the company from trading or securing redress. The FCA ensure that consumers receive the information that they need in the correct way to allow them to make the best decisions for themselves.
Firms and individuals entering the financial markets are monitored by the FCA to ensure that they meet the required standards before the FCA will authorise them. Once authorised the FCA will supervise how they work and will stop those that do not meet the standards set.
The FCA is an independent public body funded entirely by the firms that they regulate. This funding is provided by charging those firms fees. The FCA are accountable to the Treasury and to Parliament.
The operational objectives of the FCA are as follows:
- Protect consumers – we secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers.
- Protect financial markets – we protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system.
- Promote competition – we promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
The above information has been sourced from https://www.fca.org.uk/
When you look at taking any type of financial or protection product including life insurance and private medical insurance, it is essential that you ensure that the provider is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before investing in a policy of any type. The FCA website provides a wealth of information for consumers which can be easily accessed.
If you are unhappy with any service you have received or are the victim of a scam or witness a misleading financial advert, the FCA provide a clear information and guides on what consumers can do in any of these circumstances.