The FCA or the Financial Conduct Authority is the primary regulator of finance markets in the United Kingdom. The main point worth noting is, that whilst formed in 2013 and representing the government, this financial service regulator is operating independently from the government.
Its main objectives are to protect consumers, enhance market integrity and promote transparent competition. It is no surprise then, to know that FCA regulates Open Banking in the United Kingdom and is one of the most important organizations for the entire sector.
The FCA Open Banking directory is a FCA-published list and directory of all organizations that are licensed in the field of open banking. Since in the UK almost all financial activity is regulated and authorized (in need of licensing), there is a mutual directory for all enterprises and individuals who have licenses and permits issued in their name.
It’s a very useful tool when you wish to check the legality and the current status of the entity that you’re planning to do business. The FCA Open Banking directory is available online on the FCA’s website - https://register.fca.org.uk/s/.
If you’re unsure whether the firm is licensed to do what it is doing and what activities is it exactly licensed to do – check out the directory and you are going to see the restrictions applicable and activities and services permitted.
All you have to do is enter the name or a reference name of a firm and click the ‘Search’ button. Most relevant results will be shown. Access to the directory is completely free. This directory, however, contains more than just Open Banking companies. It will show you organizations that are licensed in other financial services, as well. With new companies opening up every day, the UK alone has around 300 firms with licensing for Open Banking. This directory of Open Banking by the FCA proves to be very useful!
The Open Banking FCA Register is the same thing as the Open Banking Directory. The Directory and the Register are essentially the same documents, but the two terms are used as synonyms, hence sometimes users may confuse them.
The register was compiled in order to increase transparency. It is continuously updated, expanded and revised, in accordance with new licenses given out, old ones revoked, adjustments, re-brands, etc.
If you want to find out more about a firm that’s listed on the directory, you can view its reference number, previous names as well as registered address with other relevant contact info. The latter includes a phone number, email address and a website. The FCA also checks on the status of the company and lists major changes and relevant status updates.
For businesses, the register of Open Banking made by the FCA can give reassurance that new international or relevant potential partners in the domestic market are trustworthy and transparent.
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