Financial Spread Betting Regulations
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Financial Spread Betting Regulations and Consumer Help

Financial Conduct Authority

How to Complain About Your Spread Betting Company

If you have a complaint about your spread betting company, and you are based in the UK, then the typical procedure is:
  1. Contact the relevant company’s Customer Services department and try to resolve the problem with them.

  2. If you do not feel your complaint was satisfactorily cleared up and you want to make a more formal complaint then contact the company’s “Compliance Department”.

    Frustratingly, you may need to repeat a lot of the information again but the Compliance Department can help resolve a number of problems.

    You will often know when you have gotten as far as you can with a Compliance Department because they will sometimes say, in writing, “this is our final response” or words to that effect.

  3. If you are still not satisfied, then you can ask the Financial Ombudsman for an independent view:

    Financial Ombudsman Service
    South Quay Plaza
    183 Marsh Wall
    E14 9SR
    Telephone: 0845 080 1800

    For an overview, the Financial Ombudsman online leaflet is quite helpful.

    In the past, you had to contact the Financial Ombudsman within 6 months of getting your final response from the Compliance Department. No doubt that 6 month period is subject to change so do not delay contacting the Ombudsman if you do not get a satisfactory response from the Compliance Department.

    Different firms have different complaints procedures, it’s often a good idea to try to follow the complaints procedures before contacting the Ombudsman.

    Readers should note that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Ombudsman are two independent organisations, the Ombudsman’s job is to solve individual complaints between businesses that provide financial services and their clients.

Complaints if You are Based Outside the UK

If you are based outside the UK, we still suggest trying Steps 1) and 2) above.

If you are still not happy after completing these steps then contact the Financial Ombudsman serving your country.

Financial Conduct Authority

On 1 April 2013 the Financial Services Authority (FSA) was split into the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA now regulates the spread betting industry.

We’re not sure why the FCA uses a based domain rather than a .gov based domain like the FSA used to. Perhaps it is to distinguish the FCA from the UK government.

Anyway, the new domain for information (and complaints) is

Financial Services Authority (FSA)

The Financial Services Act 1986 governed the financial spread betting companies and these companies were policed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FSA).

The FSA was an independent non-governmental body which had statutory powers through the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000).

The FSMA 2000 gave the FSA four key objectives:
  • Maintain market confidence: maintaining confidence in the financial system
  • Protect the consumer: securing the appropriate degree of protection for consumers
  • Public awareness: promoting an understanding of the finance system, and
  • Reduce financial crime: putting in place schemes to reduce the extent to which businesses can be used for a purpose connected with financial crime, for example reducing Money Laundering.
The four objectives are supported by "principles of good regulation" that the FSA has to show regard to when discharging their functions.

FSA Short Selling Ban

Note that the FSA put a temporary ban on short selling in September 2008. This restriction was lifted on 16 January 2009. For more details see Short Selling Ban and Spread Betting.

For related articles also see:

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