Is your broker FCA regulated? Here is how you can check

Written by
Fact checked by
Updated
Mar 2024

Regulators' websites are complex and difficult to navigate. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is no exception to this rule, and visitors may be at a loss when trying to verify their broker's regulation with the FCA.

We give you clear, step-by-step guidance on using the FCA’s website to check your broker’s regulation. Also, our article includes details on investor protection and curated list of reliable brokers regulated by the FCA.

How to verify FCA regulation: key points
Edith
Edith Balázs
Forex • Safety • Financial Journalism

As a brokerage expert, I am familiar with the licensing procedure of several regulators worldwide. Here are some key points on checking your broker's regulatory profile with the FCA:

  • Cross-check your broker's regulatory status on the FCA's official website.
  • FCA oversight guarantees that brokers meet strict rules and offer investor protection.
  • Browse industry-leading brokers regulated by the FCA and tested by BrokerChooser.

Cross-check your broker's regulatory status on the FCA's official website

Start with your broker's website: A legitimate broker should transparently display its regulatory status on its website. This includes the names of regulators overseeing its operations and license number(s).

This data is typically found at the bottom of the broker's website. If a broker doesn't provide information on its regulation and legal entities, consider it a major red flag.

Regulatory information on the eToro website
Don’t forget to check the broker in BrokerChooser’s Scam Broker Shield to avoid falling prey to fraudulent brokers.

If your broker is regulated by several regulators, check which entity is authorized by the FCA and sign up with that entity. If you are not a UK citizen, this may not always be possible due to legal restrictions.

This information can often be found in the profile settings of your brokerage account or among the documents in the ‘Terms and Conditions’ section. Typically, the relevant entity is displayed in the top right corner of such documents.

How to check the entity you signed up with at Trading212

If you are uncertain, contact your broker’s customer support team.

The next step is to check the FCA's Financial Services Register. Always cross-check the regulatory information provided by your broker with FCA records.

The Financial Services Register lists all firms and individuals authorized by the FCA. Here’s how you can verify a broker:

  • Go to the Financial Services Register on the FCA's website.
  • Enter the company name or license number of your broker.
  • If the broker is regulated by the FCA, you'll find it in the search results, along with detailed information about the firm, its licensed operations, customer protection, and contact details​.
Search result for Interactive Brokers in the Financial Services Register website

FCA oversight guarantees that brokers meet strict rules and offer investor protection

The FCA regulates the conduct of nearly 50,000 businesses in the UK. To obtain FCA authorization, each firm must demonstrate that they meet a range of stringent requirements:

Failure to meet these requirements usually triggers strict enforcement procedures and may result in the entity losing its license.

If your broker, regulated by the FCA, goes out of business due to poor management or fraud, there's a safety net in place for your funds. You will be entitled to investor protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which safeguards your assets up to £85,000.

As a client of an FCA-regulated broker, you're automatically covered by this scheme no matter where you're from or where you live.

Browse industry-leading brokers regulated by the FCA and tested by BrokerChooser.

Our expert team has thoroughly assessed and ranked the best FCA-regulated brokers, focusing on nine critical aspects, including fees, safety, account opening, education, and trading platforms.

Here are our recommendations for the most reliable and best brokers supervised by the FCA as of June 2024:

  • Interactive Brokers - Recommended for traders looking for broad market access and a professional trading environment
  • Saxo - Recommended for investors and traders looking for a great trading platform and solid research
  • eToro - Recommended for traders interested in social trading (i.e. copying other investors’ trades) and zero-commission stock trading
  • XTB - Recommended for forex and CFD traders looking for low fees and great deposit/withdrawal service
  • TradeStation Global - Recommended for traders and investors looking for low fees and a wide selection of products
  • Freetrade - Recommended for long-term investors on the hunt for low fees and focusing on the UK and US markets
  • Interactive Investor - Recommended for beginners and investors focusing on the UK market
  • Fineco Bank - Recommended for traders and investors looking for a great trading platform and a broker with a solid background
  • Plus500 - Recommended for experienced traders looking for an easy-to-use platform and a great user experience
  • Admirals (Admiral Markets) - Recommended for forex traders who are familiar with the MetaTrader trading platforms

We review each broker based on more than 500 criteria and update our methodology yearly according to both our own insights and user feedback. Key elements of our evaluation process include:

  • We check the regulatory status of each broker, cross checking the information with regulatory databases.
  • We compare trading costs and non-trading fees (e.g. currency conversion, withdrawal or inactivity charges).
  • We conduct actual trades on the trading platforms.
  • We check minimum deposit requirements as well as deposit and withdrawal options.
  • We personally contact customer service on all channels.

Check FCA regulation at selected online brokers

Click to see if the following online brokers possess FCA regulation.

Interactive BrokerseToroXTBSaxoTradeStation GlobalFineco BankPlus500Admirals (Admiral Markets)IG
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Further reading

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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Edith Balázs
Author of this article
I bring 20+ years of experience as a correspondent having worked for Bloomberg, Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal covering macroeconomics, stock, currency and fixed-income markets. I hold a Master's degree in American Studies and Journalism.
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