Warning lists and unauthorised service providers
FIN-FSA aims to improve the flow of information in the market and the possibilities of the general public to assess the contents and risks of financial services. In the interests of customer and investor protection, it is important that operators in the financial markets observe the financial regulations.
For this purpose, we publish the following lists:
- Warnings concerning unauthorised service providers
- Warnings concerning the prospectus requirement and securities offerings
- Prohibitions concerning insurance brokerage
- Warnings from foreign supervisory authorities
- Warnings from supervised entities
Choosing a service provider
Integration of financial markets and the expansion of internet-based services have given customers more choice, but at greater risk. Despite supervision and regulations, malpractice does occur in the financial markets and may affect sincere private investors and savers.
It pays to be particularly careful when considering using the service of a previously unknown service provider who will contact you by phone. If the offer appears too good to be true, it probably is.
Care should be taken at least in the following cases:
- The service provider will contact you by phone from outside the EU area. A typical form of criminal activity is that the service provider, the investment object (eg shares) and the address for making the payment are all located in different countries.
- The service provider is unnecessarily hasty
- The decision must be made immediately or the offer becomes void
- Payment is needed upfront
- The payment is addressed to an entity other than the service provider and may be addressed to a third country.
- No contract or other written material is available
- Maximum profits are promised within a short period of time and without risk
- The offer is individual and must be kept secret.
It is always worthwhile to request some time to think so that you can investigate the background details of a suspect offer. Before any decision is made, it is worthwhile to check the following:
- Does the service provider really exist? Internet enables one to use false names and create false identities as well as websites for companies. Even known service providers' business names and products have been used for the wrong purposes. The authenticity and reliability of a service provider can be verified with the aid of contact details, the bodies in the field, and the authorities.
- Who manages the company? What is the ownership structure and history?
- Is an authorisation required? Does the service provider have an authorisation? You can obtain further information on FIN-FSA supervision via the link on the right of the page (See also). Authorisation or registration of a service provider can be checked in our lists of supervised entities and notifications.
- Are the operations supervised? What is the local supervisory authority that supervises the service provider?