The UК Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its half-year report about complaints against regulated firms. The number of complaints against online FX, CFDs and spreadbetting brokers is 3,471.
This is the first time that the FCA has published such data relating to the online retail trading industry. Putting the information into context, the number of complaints is hardly a major contributor to the overall total of 3.32 million.
The figure represents a little over 0.1 percent of the total number of complaints. A total of 97 percent of all complaints were received by 226 firms, which received more than 500 complaints each.
Granted, the number of financial firms that provide services to the wider public is much larger than the number of clients of retail brokers. But the sheer volume of information that the FCA has to process speaks volumes about the regulator’s methodical review of the industry, launched in late 2016.
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FCA Regulations Still Pending
It has been almost a year since the FCA’s initial announcement that it is looking into revamping the regulatory framework for retail brokers. So far the industry is still in the dark about the final outcome of the review.
The UK financial regulator announced at the beginning of the summer that it is working with the pan-European regulator ESMA on a new framework. Industry executives have expressed worries about the incoming new regulations, primarily focused on clients on-boarding requirements.
Insurance and Traditional Banking Top The Ranks
The number of complaints from customers of financial institutions was led by Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) firms. A total of 1.11 million complaints were received against this sector of the myriad FCA-regulated industries.
Current accounts at traditional financial institutions were the next biggest contributor to the statistics with 309,875 complaints.
The investments sector attracted 5 percent of the total complaints, with a total of 65,643. Within this 5 percent lies the FX, CFDs and spreadbetting brokers. Further FCA stats show that 38 percent of the cases were closed within 3 days with 97 percent being received within eight weeks.
The figures are reported to the FCA by the companies themselves, as part of their obligations to the regulator.