Only regulated firms are authorised to provide investment services. Firms can only provide investment services in the European Union (EU) if they are authorised to do so by an EU regulator. If a firms is not authorized to provide investment services and activities, it is not allowed to provide them.
The authorisation is only granted when, and if, the firms complies with certain requirements and standards which set out, among other things, how firms should treat you and what sort of information they should give you. Each country’s regulator keeps a register of firms which it regulates.
This register specifies the types of investment services that each firms is authorised to provide.
Financial services firms
Banks, credit unions and insurance firms are regulated by both us and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The PRA is your single point of contact for the application process.
Consumer credit firms
If you’re a consumer credit firms carrying on regulated financial activities such as credit broking and consumer lending, you’ll have to apply to us for either limited or full permission.
If you’re an investment firm carrying on certain activities in relation to financial instruments such as shares and bonds, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) requires you to be authorised by us.
Under the EU Benchmarks Regulation, benchmark administrators can be authorised or registered.
Payment services and e-money firms
If you offer people payment accounts, pre-paid cards or other such financial services, you may need to be authorised or registered with us – or both authorised and registered.
Unauthorised firms try to avoid complying with the controls that legal, authorised entities are subject to, leaving investors totally unprotected. In some cases, national regulators identify a company or a person that is not authorised to provide investment services and who they have evidence, or suspect, of carrying out these services without proper authorisation.