// Consumers

What Consumers can Expect

The Global Financial Authority is a conduct regulator for  over 15,000 financial markets and financial services firms in the UK and the practical supervisor of 34,268 companies that sets specific standards for thousands of other firms.

What our clients can expect

Under GFA  all consumers, whether individual retail consumers, corporates, or regulated entities, get equal protection from our authorisation, registration and ongoing protocols. We prioritise protection to consumers who are likely to have lower levels of financial capability, compared to those with more capability. 

The more complex and risky the product is, the more sophisticated consumers need to be before they can be expected to understand it. We set rules which regulated firms are required to follow. We also conduct inspections to test that the firms are really following the rules. However, it is the firms’ responsibility to follow our requirements and live up to our standards. We do not operate a perfect zero-failure regime. Some firms will fail financially and will sometimes fail to treat their customers fairly. Our rules include requirements for how firms should handle complaints and provide amends. We provide a number of additional services to our customers.:

The GFA Registers and allows all users to search for information on a firm, individual or financial services product to give them more information before engaging in a transaction.

We help individual consumers directly through our consumer contact centre. The center helps consumers understand whether firms are authorised, assists them with frauds or scams, and directs consumers to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This is to help them have a safe and productive engagement with firms.

We also give consumer warnings about bogus firms and scams through the authority warning List and our work with consumer groups and firms, such as through our ScamSmart campaign. As we mentioned earlier, we put the safety of our consumer as our utmost priority.

What our clients can expect from firms

Our retail consumers are protected by our principles and rules, namely: 

The GFA  principles require firms to consider and prioritise the interest of their customers and treat them fairly.

The GFA  principles require firms to consider what information their customers need. They also should communicate it in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading. Customers can use this information to assess if they are being treated fairly. 

What clients can expect when things go wrong

If firms have failed to treat customers fairly, the clients will usually have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This Service decides the outcomes of consumer complaints about financial goods and services. 

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