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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently unearthed an investment firm running £500m in clients investments. So what? You may say. Well for 18 years Fieldbase Wealth was not regulated, so beware of the unregulated!
How did it go under the radar for so long? It seems there are so many unregulated investment firms it becomes an almost impossible job for our regulator to identify and then sort them out.
From an investors perspective, the chances of a return from firms like these is fairly remote. Fieldbase describes itself as ” one of the UK’s leading wealth managers offering a range of fixed income investments and bespoke fund services. It also offers crypto currency wealth management, whatever that is?
The buyer beware concept is crucial here. Unregulated means that the investor has no protection from the FCA, the FSCS or FOS. You are reliant on your legal advisers if you incur problems.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects the investor against poor financial advice, as long as that advice was fully regulated. You can check online by going to the FCA website and looking at the Register.
The Financial Ombudsman Scheme (FOS) gets involved if there is a dispute between the investor and their advisory firm. FOS decisions have to be adhered to by all concerned. The beauty of this scheme is that legal representation and therefore expense is not necessary. Overall this scheme appears to work quite well.
Regulated financial advisers are in 2018, highly sought after, highly professional, and highly useful to the public. Level 6 qualifications are becoming the norm. Standards are set at a high level, and an army of compliance experts make sure they are adhered to.
- Financial Advice should help you establish YOUR key financial goals, Financial Advice can be independent, tied to one provider, or restricted. I believe in independence.
- Financial Advisers are there with you at times of stress or difficulty. Worries can be lessened.
- Financial Advisers can help you legally to only pay the taxes you must.
- Financial Advisers will invest your money, only at risk levels you are comfortable with.
- Financial Advisers are with you for the longer term. Pick your IFA carefully.
Finally, they are there so that you get the most out of your money. If they don’t then change your adviser.