Skip to main content
Home

ESMA

Extranet

Search form

CHECK IF A FIRM IS REGULATED

CHECK IF A FIRM IS REGULATED

Before you invest always check if the firm is regulated.

    Only regulated firms are authorised to provide investment services.

    Firms can only provide investment services in the European Union (EU) if they are authorised to do so by an EU regulator. If a firm is not authorised to provide investment services and activities, it is not allowed to provide them.

    The authorisation is only granted when, and if, the firm complies with certain requirements and standards which set out, among other things, how firms should treat you and what sort of information they should give you.

    Each country's regulator keeps a register of firms which it regulates. This register specifies the types of investment services that each firm is authorised to provide.

    Registers

    Authorised firms must appear in the public register of the regulator of the country in which they provide investment services.

    How can you check if a firm is regulated?

    Public registers can be accessed through national regulators’ websites.

    Unauthorised firms

    Unauthorised firms try to avoid complying with the controls that legal, authorised entities are subject to, leaving investors totally unprotected.

    In some cases, national regulators identify a company or a person that is not authorised to provide investment services and who they have evidence, or suspect, of carrying out these services without proper authorisation.

    The details of these companies/persons are usually published on the websites of the regulators.

    The investor alerts section of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) website gathers the alerts and warnings published by IOSCO members about firms which are not authorised to provide investment services in their respective jurisdictions and are believed to be, or to have been, targeting investors.

    Be careful if you invest with a firm that is not authorised:

    • You run the risk of dealing with a fraudster and may lose all your money.
    • You will not have access to complaints procedures and compensation schemes in that country if things go wrong.