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I'm trying to understand the steps to follow to check if a financial firm/advisor is actually a scammer. For simplicity, lets stick to The UK.

I have found that there is something called Financial Services Register (FSR) which, apparently, can be used to check if a firm is authorized (by them), which in turn should mean that the firm in question is legal and not fraudulent. Is this Financial Services Register trustworthy?

To put a specific example, I try to verify that Vanguard UK is actually verified. If I search for "Vanguard" in the FSR register, I find a list with several companies called "Vanguard" (see FSR - Vanguard), so I'm not sure which one is the one I'm looking for.

  • Are there any other informations that is not provided by, either, PRA or FCA? – SZCZERZO KŁY Dec 9 '19 at 14:30
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With regards to how trusty is the FSR, according to its web page:

The Financial Services Register is a public record of firms, individuals and other bodies that are, or have been, regulated by the PRA and/or FCA.

The PRA is the Prudential regulation, which belongs to The Bank Of England, which belongs to the UK goverment so I guess that it is trusty enough.

With regards to the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), it seems to be a private institution, so not sure how trusty is this.

The above quote says 'and/or', so it might happen that an institution is granted by the FCA but not by the PR. A good question would be how to be sure if the PR has verified an institution.

For finding the right Vanguard entry in the list, in the Vanguard web page, go to the bottom and the following can be found:

©2019 Vanguard Asset Management, Limited. All rights reserved.
Issued by Vanguard Asset Management, Limited is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Going back to the FSR, there is one entry whose name is exactly Vanguard Asset Management. By clicking in that name, a report is shown with a link to the Vanguard web page. In addition, it shows the kind of protection that is supposed to be granted: FSR - Vanguard (not sure until which point this is respected in case of fraud/scam)

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    The FCA is the UK's financial regulator so is as trustworthy as the laws in the UK – MD-Tech Dec 9 '19 at 13:24

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