‘Reg­u­la­tor’s er­rors helped fraud­sters steal my £44k’

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

Lax record keep­ing by the City watch­dog has left re­spon­si­ble con­sumers vul­ner­a­ble to fraud, warns Adam Williams

It is sup­posed to arm con­sumers with vi­tal in­for­ma­tion about which com­pa­nies are safe to do busi­ness with, yet its mis­takes have en­abled fraud­sters to steal thou­sands of pounds from in­no­cent in­vestors. The City watch­dog, the Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity (FCA), is re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing a reg­is­ter of com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als who are au­tho­rised to of­fer fi­nan­cial ser­vices and ad­vice. The Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Reg­is­ter is de­signed to be a gold stan­dard of in­for­ma­tion on which con­sumers can rely to find out whether a firm is rep­utable.

If a firm or in­di­vid­ual is no longer au­tho­rised, or has been banned from trad­ing, this should be clearly dis­played on the reg­is­ter so that cus­tomers know to avoid the com­pany. How­ever, it has emerged that er­rors in the FCA’s data­base are leav­ing con­sumers at risk of fraud.

In one case, a con­sumer lost tens of thou­sands of pounds af­ter in­vest­ing his pen­sion in a com­pany that the reg­u­la­tor said was fully au­tho­rised. In re­al­ity, scam­mers had taken ad­van­tage of the FCA’s poor record-keep­ing and used the name of a closed com­pany to de­fraud in­no­cent vic­tims.

Fol­low­ing Tele­graph Money’s in­volve­ment, the Trea­sury Select Com­mit­tee said it would raise this is­sue with the FCA at a meet­ing later this year.

When ques­tioned by this news­pa­per, the watch­dog was un­able to an­swer ba­sic ques­tions about how many com­plaints it had re­ceived re­gard­ing the reg­is­ter or how much com­pen­sa­tion it had paid to vic­tims.

James Da­ley, of con­sumer cam­paign group Fairer Fi­nance, said: “The FCA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.