Kuflink is committed to providing high quality, securely managed investments that provide fantastic returns for our investor community. We were one of the first P2P platforms to meet the strict criteria necessary to gain FCA authorisation, achieving this in April 2017 – but what does our regulation mean for you as an investor?
The fact that Kuflink is a regulated firm gives investors confidence that we consistently meet the highest industry standards in everything we do, from our underwriting process to our marketing communications. Our operations are continually monitored and subject to scrutiny from the FCA in order to guarantee that we provide a ‘fit and proper’ service.
What is the FCA?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, established in April 2013 and operating independently of the government. It has three main functions; to protect consumers, to enhance market integrity and to promote competition amongst firms.
The sectors that they cover include:
- regulating standards of conduct in retail and certain wholesale markets
- supervising trading infrastructures that support those markets
- the prudential regulation of firms not regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority
- the functions of the UK Listing Authority
From bank accounts to mortgages, credit cards, loans, savings and pensions, virtually every adult in the UK is a consumer of financial services. So, one of the FCA’s key objectives is to ensure an appropriate degree of protection for all consumers.
To discover how they protect consumers from potential harm caused by improper conduct, click here https://www.fca.org.uk/about/protecting-consumers
How does the FCA enforce the rules?
The FCA have an enforcement division that supports their objectives by imposing consequences for firms and individuals that don’t follow the rules.
The action they take is wide-ranging – not just court action. It can occur at any stage of an individual’s or firm’s regulatory journey, and also in cases where the firm is unauthorised.
They work closely alongside the Authorisation, Supervision and Strategy divisions as well as other legal bodies to ensure they act quickly when intervention is necessary.
To read more, click here: https://www.fca.org.uk/about/enforcement
How does the FCA supervise firms?
The FCA’s main priority is to ensure that consumers are at the centre of a firm’s business, seeking to tackle risks before they cause harm.
They make risk-based judgements about whether:
the firm’s business model and how it is run results in fair treatment for consumers, and
the firm upholds market integrity and, if it is a firm they prudentially regulate, whether it is financially sound.
For further information please click here: https://www.fca.org.uk/about/supervision
What information does Kuflink provide to FCA?
Regulated firms are required to continually check in with the FCA, to ensure they are upholding their commitments. The types of documents they share with the regulator include:
Annual accounts and reports | Annual controllers reporting | Client asset reports | Client money and assets reporting
Market data reporting | Product sales data reporting | Remuneration data reporting | Reporting complaints
How does the FCA make sure customers are treated fairly?
Above all, customers expect financial services and products that meet their needs from firms they trust. All firms must be able to show consistently that fair treatment of customers is at the heart of their business model.
There are six consumer outcomes that firms should strive to achieve to ensure fair treatment of customers.
Click here to read more: https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/fair-treatment-customers
How does the FCA look after customer’s money?
The Client Assets Sourcebook (CASS) sets out rules that firms need to follow whenever they hold or control client money. The sourcebook is designed to keep client money and assets safe should a firm fail or exit the market.
Click here to read more: https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/client-money-assets
Can I claim compensation?
If you are owed money by a financial firm that goes bust, you may be entitled to compensation.
It is important to know how your money is protected and how much compensation you could claim if a UK financial services firm goes bust.
There are 7 steps to follow that can be found here: https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/claim-compensation-firm-fails
Does the FCA help me if I need to complain?
If you are unhappy with a financial product or service, you can complain.
The FCA do not investigate individual complaints, but regulated financial firms must have a procedure in place for resolving disputes with their customers and respond to you within set deadlines.
Click here to read more about the 4-step process: https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/how-complain
How do I check if a firm is FCA registered?
The Financial Services Register is a public record of firms, individuals and other bodies that are, or have been, regulated by the PRA and/or FCA.
You can search the Register for information on a firm, individual or financial services product by entering its name, reference number (FRN) or postcode. You can also search for certain investment exchanges.
The Register shows whether a firm you are using, or plan to use, is authorised or registered by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and/or the FCA, or is exempt. You can also find out if a consumer credit firm has interim permission.
Other information you can see includes:
- the main contact details, trading names, permissions and other basic information
- the ‘status’ of a firm or individual, such as whether they are authorised or approved
- whether a firm is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service
- and Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
- the regulated activities the firm can provide and its ‘permissions’ for those activities
The register can be found here: https://register.fca.org.uk/
What are the benefits to using an authorised company?
Uninvested lender money is protected if the firm goes bust
Platforms must hold lenders’ money that is yet to be lent out separately from other funds, so that it can be returned in the event of insolvency
Access to the Financial Ombudsman
Lenders can approach the Financial Ombudsman if the platform hasn’t resolved a complaint to their satisfaction. Details of how the Financial Ombudsman Service works can be found here: http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
The FCA sets out a capital requirement for most regulated firms to ensure that they have a buffer for periods of financial difficulty, or enough funds to allow the firm to wind down in an orderly manner if necessary. From April 2017, platforms must have a sum of at least £50,000 available. This value increases along with the size of the loan book.
Provisions for loans to continue
In the event that a platform ceases operations, arrangements must be in place to ensure that existing loans can continue to run in an orderly fashion until the loan naturally ends.
Who makes the rules?
The FCA set out the rules for companies to adhere to. These are published in the FCA handbook, which is used as a reference tool for guidance and direction.
It can be found at http://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/