The FCA is investigating 46 financial advisers and mortgage brokers for enforcement action, Money Marketing can reveal.
This is 44 per cent more than the 32 advisers and brokers the regulator was investigating a year ago.
Responding to a freedom of information request submitted by Money Marketing, the FCA says it is investigating 40 individual financial advisers or firms and six mortgage brokers. The enforcement actions relate to misselling and customer care, integrity, fraud and unauthorised activities.
The number is up significantly compared with a year ago, when Money Marketing revealed the regulator was investigating 29 advisers and three mortgage brokers.
The FCA says the figures relate to only formal investigations referred to enforcement and not supervisory visits or supervision enquiries.
There are 21,881 authorised financial advisers, according to the latest FCA figures published in January.
Apfa senior policy adviser Clare Griffiths says: “This may be evidence of the FCA developing its more proactive approach. When it took over from the FSA, the regulator said it would nip problems in the bud before they develop and, assuming these investigations uncover real problems, that is to be welcomed.
“If firms are carrying out unauthorised activities we would be pleased to see them dealt with appropriately. Hopefully this approach from the FCA will lead to reduced consumer detriment and fewer claims falling on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.”
Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “These actions will be of varying severity and without knowing the details it is difficult to know what the impact will be on the rest of the industry.”
The FCA’s annual report, published last month, shows it imposed 46 fines worth £425m in 2013/14, its first year of operation. This compares with 51 fines worth £423m under the FSA in 2012/13. The FCA also imposed 26 prohibitions in 2013/14, down from 43 in 2012/13.