UK financial regulator The FCA announced today that is has launched its updated Financial Services (FS) Register, including a simpler design and clearer language. The regulator said that the redesign aims to help consumers protect themselves from harm and will provide a better experience for the Register’s users.

The Register had more than 7 million unique users in the past year, and is a vital service for anyone that wants to see firms and approved individuals that are involved with regulated activities. (We always suggest the retail traders check on the regulatory status of their broker before opening an account or depositing money).

The FCA said that the FS register can help consumers avoid scams, and enables firms to cross-check references and make their key staff known to customers.

The enhanced Register was tested by the FCA with consumers and other users to ensure it is easier to use and understand.

Key enhancements to the FCA’s FS register include:

  • a clearer navigation and design
  • simpler language
  • more information on the Register’s purpose, how to use it and how to avoid scams
  • important information being made more prominent, including past actions against individuals and firms, and consumer protections
  • optimisation for some mobile devices

The FCA said that it will review and improve the FS Register on an ongoing basis, to ensure it meets the needs of users.

Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of Supervision, Retail and Authorisations, said:

‘The Financial Services Register is an important tool for both the consumers and firms who use it.

‘These changes will make it easier for users to navigate and understand the Register, and in doing so, help them avoid financial harm such as scams by unauthorised firms and individuals.’

Under the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR), the FCA had announced its commitment to publishing and maintaining a directory of certified and assessed persons on the Financial Services Register. Having already announced a delay to this, the FCA now intends to publish it later this year.

The FCA stated it is also currently proposing to extend the previous deadline of 9 December 2020 for solo-regulated firms to submit information about Directory Persons to the Register to 31 March 2021.