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Is Fidelity International legit? And who are they?

Your expert
Tamás D.
Fact checked by
Adam N.
Updated
Feb 2024
Personally tested
Data-driven
Independent

Is Fidelity International legit?

Whether a financial provider like Fidelity International is legit a very relevant question one can have. After all you trust Fidelity International with your investment money and savings. It is also a very common question, we get this asked a number of times.

One thing worth bearing in mind: all the brokers that you find on BrokerChooser are regulated by at least one top-tier financial authority. So in this basic sense Fidelity International is of course legit. Additionally, there are other factors you can take into account when you check the legitimacy of Fidelity International, e.g. if Fidelity International is listed on any exchange, provide two-step login, disclose transparently its financial result, etc.

Here, we've collected and summarized the common questions on broker legitimacy, enabling you to decide for yourself whether you consider Fidelity International legit in your individual circumstances. We also compared Fidelity International with two similar brokers.

Is Fidelity International legit?
Banking background
No No No
Broker listed on stock exchange
No Yes Yes
Annual financial statements on website
Yes Yes Yes
Mobile two-step authentication
Yes Yes No
Broker ownership transparency
No Yes Yes
Broker management transparency
Yes Yes Yes
Broker is audited by the Big Four
Yes No Yes

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BrokerChooser score
4.1 4.1 /5
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Things always worth considering

When you assess a stock broker it's best to think through the following aspects:

  • What authority or authorities regulate the broker? In other words who can you turn to if something goes south?
  • How much protection do you have?
  • For how long Fidelity International has been in operation?
  • Is it publicly traded itself?
  • How transparent is it?
  • How much do they protect your account from unauthorized access?
  • What auditor audits the brokerage?

As you see there are a number of aspects above. But not all of them were created equal.

We think the most important feature is to be regulated by at least one trustworthy authority.

Comparing regulators

First and foremost, to gather a wider knowledge about one broker's legitimacy, you should check the regulators of it. For this purpose, we sum up below the most important things to know about regulators and how to interpret them for your individual case.

Fidelity International is regulated in the following countries and provides the following investor protection:

Fidelity International regulation and investor protection
Fidelity International
Country of regulation: UK
Investor protection amount: £85k

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Don't forget that regulators are not created equal. Investor protection can also vary from authority to authority. There are top-tier regulators whose excellence lies within their features such as the presence of segregated accounts, the range of protection tools or the investor protection amount itself. Check out a few of the top-tier regulators in the table below. Most brokers reviewed by BC fall below one of the following four regulators:

Some regulators and their investor protection (for retail customers)
FCA in the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) provides coverage up to £85,000.
SEC, FINRA in the US Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) covers up to $500,000, including a $250,000 limit for cash.
BaFIN in Germany €100,000 for cash, and €20,000 for securities.
ASIC in Australia No investor protection.

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Fidelity International is regulated by the top-tier UK regulator, the FCA or Financial Conduct Authority. FCA monitors which firms and individuals are able to enter the financial markets and supervises how firms work and stop those that don't meet their standards.

If a broker goes bankrupt, eligible customers would also be protected by the FSCS up to £85,000 per claimant per firm. For forex and CFD brokers you're also covered by negative account balance protection. A non-UK citizen is treated the same way as a UK resident in case something goes south.

There are some brokers that provide additional insurance because they have private insurance (e.g.: eToro through Lloyd's, among the US brokers Charles Schwab and Ally have similar setups), which means that you have an extra legitimacy net above the regulatory. It's worth checking it out when you're choosing your broker.

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Additional "nice to have" legitimacy features

The subsequent bullet points are rather supplementary, “nice to have” features. Ticking them definitely adds to the legitimacy of an online broker, but not having them is not necessarily a big red flag.

Banking background

Fidelity International doesn't have a banking background, which is not crucial, but would make a better case for their legitimacy. The reason is that even if it's not required by law that a struggling broker must be saved by its parent bank, in most cases you can count on this happening.

Broker listed on stock exchange

Fidelity International is not listed on any stock exchange, hence it's harder to get detailed or any kind of direct information about its financial performance.

Why is being listed on the stock market useful? For two reasons:

  • Listed companies by and large have stringent reporting requirements
  • If something really goes wrong with the broker, you'll be able to tell it from the (rapidly falling) share price of the broker in most cases. In this unlikely scenario, you'll have time to move your funds and securities to another broker.

Annual financial statements on website

While most of the people don't read financial statements, it's a promising sign for legitimacy that Fidelity International publishes these regularly. Financial statements can be considered as financial reports, which generally contain information about a brokerage's income, profit and loss, retained earnings and cash flows.

Mobile two-step authentication

Fidelity International provides two-step authentication when logging in, which makes the platform safer to use.

Broker ownership transparency

Ownership structure of Fidelity International is not public, it can't be checked on their website, which leaves some questions open about one's feeling of being up-to-date about the broker.

Broker management transparency

Fidelity International is transparent about their management structure, which means that anyone can see who is in charge of management issues at the brokerage.

Broker is audited by the Big Four

Fidelity International is audited by one of the so-called Big Four auditors (KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, EY).

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Bottom line

Now that we have gone through the most frequent and - as we think - most important legitimacy aspects of Fidelity International, we can say that Fidelity International is great in legitimacy, since it fulfils most of the important criteria mentioned above. We hope that you feel armed enough with information for your future decision. In case you're still unsure, use our broker finder and meet the best online broker that suits your needs.

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Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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Tamás Deme
Author of this article
With over two decades of experience as a financial journalist, proofreader, copy editor, and editor, my mission revolves around making financial knowledge accessible to all. I firmly believe in the power of clear and straightforward writing. My past roles include contributing to Interfax news agency and covering M&A deals for EMIS DealWatch.
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