FCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Compare Forex and CFD brokers regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) USA, and understand the steps they take to protect your funds.
Opening an account with a broker regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) offers 2 levels of protection: 1) FCA rules and requirements and 2) access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Protection under FCA Rules
Under FCA rules, brokers have an obligation to protect their clients' money and assets.
- FCA regulated brokers must place all money paid and owed to traders into separate bank accounts. These accounts should only contain client money and cannot co-mingle with the brokers' own funds. This process, known as segregation, must happen on a daily basis.
- The FCA requires that brokers establish a trust over these accounts. This prevents the bank from using funds in client money accounts to set off debts owed by the broker. In other words, the trusteeship protects your money in the event of bankruptcy.
However, account segregation alone cannot protect against fraud or criminal behaviour. In March 2012, WorldSpreads, a London-listed spread betting operator was wound down after the discovery of an alleged accounting fraud that left £13m missing from its clients' accounts. And in 2011, MF Global, a 228-year-old US brokerage firm, filed for bankruptcy after losing US$ 1.6 billion of its customers' money.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
The FSCS provides another level of protection for customers of FCA regulated brokers. The FSCS is the UK's compensation fund of last resort and is the institution you can turn to for compensation if your broker is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it. This typically happens when it has stopped trading or has been declared in default.
Limits apply to how much compensation FSCS may be able to pay, and those limits vary between different types of financial products. The maximum levels of compensation for investments is £50,000 per person per firm.