Secure Money Transfers with the FCA

If you are looking to find the safest international money transfer company, then looking into the aspect of regulation is critical. The FCA makes sure that companies authorised by it will qualify as a safe and secure way to transfer money abroad.

How the Financial Conduct Authority regulates money transfers
View Of The FCA Offices in Canary Wharf

The FCA, which stands for Financial Conduct Authroity, was previously a part of the FSA. The FSA (Financial Services Authority) was a UK self-funded authority, founded under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). It ceased to exist in 2012, and split into two authorities, one is the PRA and the second is is the FCA (all detailed in our money transfer history timeline).

The FCA is the regulatory body that authorises money transfer firms to transfer money internationally and repatriate it. Every company that wishes to engage in the transfer of funds across borders, needs to be registered under Payment Services Regulations 2009, supervised by the FCA. The FCA makes sure the that it’s a safe international money transfer, and is secured to a necessary degree.

The authority is governed by a board  appointed  by the treasury, and supervises the activity of over 50,000 UK-facing financial business firms.

Official website: (moved from after a recent redesign in mid-June 2016).

Offices: The Financial Conduct Authority office headquarters is at: 25 The North Colonnade, London E14 5HS. Here’s a unique photograph we took of the impressive building.

Core responsibilities to make money transfers safe

  • – Day to day supervision on authorised FCA money transfer providers: making sure that funds are secure, and money transfers are safe
  • – Investigating through customer complaints (the Financial Ombusdman Services do that)
  • – Regulation committees
  • – Issuing warnings against unsafe providers
  • – Escalating issues to Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) and the Commissioner of Complaints
  • – Supervision over Anti Money Laundering

FCA Approved Secure Money Transfer Firms

The following list of companies are authorised as either Payment Institution or Electronic Money Institution; these are firms that the Financial Conduct Authority approves to offer safe international money transfers adhering to the requested levels of security and scrutiny.

Company Companies House # PSD Status
Currencies Direct Ltd900669Authorised Electronic Money Institution
World First Limited UK900508Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Tor Currency Exchange Limited900706Authorised Electronic Money Institution
TTT Moneycorp Ltd00738837Authorised Payment Institution
Global Currency Exchange Network Ltd04675786Authorised Payment Institution
Currency Solutions Limited4864491Authorised Payment Institution
UKForex Limited902028Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Global Reach Partners Limited04344764Authorised Payment Institution
Currency Index Ltd06586857Authorised Payment Institution
Transferwise Ltd900507Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Axia Ltd05762951No longer authorised
FairFX PLC05539698Authorised Payment Institution
Azimo Ltd900220Authorised Electronic Money Institution
CurrencyFair Ltd(registered in Ireland)Regulated by Central Irish Bank
AFEX Markets Plc07061516Authorised
Halo Financial Limited5155787Authorised Payment Institution
Foreign Currency Direct PLC902022Authorised Electronic Money Institution
VFX Financial PLC900530Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Ebury Partners UK Limited900797Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Pure FX Limited05990857Authorised Payment Institution
HiFX Europe Limited3517451Authorised Payment Institution
Western Union Payment Services GB Limited11326797Authorised Payment Institution
MoneyGram International Limited03287157Authorised Payment Institution
WorldRemit Ltd7110878Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Kantox Limited900891Authorised Payment Institution
Travelex Europe Limited900537Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Foreign Currency Exchange Limited900205Authorised Electronic Money Institution
CurrencyUK Limited4017212Authorised Payment Institution
Key Currency Limited9603083Authorised Payment Institution
Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited1896481Authorised Payment Institution
Smart Currency Exchange Limited05282305Authorised Payment Institution
Trans-Fast Remittance Limited4609973Authorised Payment Institution
TransferGo Ltd07914165Authorised Payment Institution
NatWest Markets PlcSC090312Authorised
The Foremost Currency Group Limited900204Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Post Office Management Services Limited08459718Authorised
Virgin Money plc06952311Authorised
Veem(registered in the USA)Regulated by FinCEN
Privalgo Limited900887Authorised Electronic Money Institution
Payoneer (EU) Limited900105EEA Authorised
Xoom(registered in the USA)Regulated by FinCEN
Ria(registered in the USA)Regulated by FinCEN
Lebara Money09753115No longer authorised

How does a well-regulated, safe, money transfer provider looks like?

Global Reach Group
Global Reach Group is demonstrating an incredible level of transparency and clearness to its customers in regards to what it is regulated to do and not regulated to do. Every single bit of it’s Policies page is coherent, clear to understand, and provides sufficient and up to date information. Global Reach also adheres to the highest level of internet security in order to facilitate safe online money transfers.

Can’t Decide? View our Best Money Transfer Comparison on our Homepage.


Why Stick To FCA-Approved Firms?

In simple words, if you want to have the same level of confidence and security when issuing overseas payment via an commercial provider, as you do with banks, that commercial  company should undergo scrutinization of a regulatory body. Someone has to make sure things are happening as they should be. A firm simply stating they offer the safest money transfer or that their website is secure is insufficient with a third party verifying this is the cast.

Think of a money transfer company as a mediator. The way it works is that you send them money domestically in your own currency, and they make the exchange and move it forward. What would happen if that money you sent them will be transferred directly into their bank account, with no designated bank account for client transactions (“ring-fenced”)? You absolutely don’t want that to happen. You want any financial institution to have separated client accounts, as well as securities in place. That is truly the “safest money transfer method“.

You also don’t want to be a victim of fraudRip-off companies are common.

The FCA processes complaints, issues fines, and revokes licenses, if necessary, i.e. too many complaints, business misconduct, failing to pass their tests etc.

They make sure it is clear to for every UK customer which company is approved by them.

For more information view the FCA Official Website.

Foreign Exchange Rigging Fines

As detailed on our bank scandals page, the FCA had a prominent role in cleaning up the UK financial system in 2014 when they issued a great deal of fines to banks for their business fx practices and rigging the LIBOR rate.

The FCA announced fines totalling £1.1 billion ($1.7 billion) for five prominent banks for ineffective controls among foreign exchange traders between January 1, 2008 and October 15, 2013.

The five banks facing fines for “failing to control business practises” in their spot FX trading operations were: Citibank (£226 million), HSBC (£216 million), JP Morgan (£222 million), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) £217 million) and UBS (£233 million).

One of the primary benchmarks that the FX traders attempted to manipulate was the World Markets/Reuters Closing Spot Rates (WM/R Rates). Regulators discovered that banks went to great lengths to collude in this core benchmark used to price cross-currency swaps, foreign exchange swaps, spot transactions, forwards, options, futures and other financial derivative instruments.

The FCA also collaborated with the US-based NFA and SEC to levy over $10 billion in fines back in 2014. Within days, other regulatory agencies weighed in with additional levies based on similar findings and discoveries of market abuse and collusion.


If you want to see more interesting statistics about the development of the commercial foreign exchange industry view our 50 milestones in the development of international money transfers infographic.


Are We FCA-Approved? is by no means regulated, authorised by, or registered with the FCA. As we do not provide personal financial advice, nor process any payments what-so-ever from our visitors, we don’t fit the criteria of the companies that should undergo their scrutinization. Nevertheless we try to follow the gist of what the FCA is trying to achieve – we try to be as transparent and straightforward as we can, and always keep the information on our website up to date and truthful. If more money transfer providers were like us, sending money would have been much safer.

We offer a free service of investigating FX cases.

Does the Financial Ombudsman protect corporate clients?

The answer to that is unfortunately no when the turnover is above GBP 2m annually. Although many of the fx brokerages mainly deal with corporate clients through their corporate fx department, these clients cannot file a complaint as private clients do via the Financial Ombudsman. These corporate clients have to resort to a civil court to handle their complaints.

Related: read our comprehensive analysis asking when does regulation turns into over-regulation and does it protect consumers?


Bank Regulation

The FCA also plays a role in the regulation of banks, alongside commercial companies handling people’s money (of course beyond the scope of secure and safe money transfers). Banks, which were traditionally overseen by the FSA until it was split in 2012, are now inspected by 3 regulatory bodies: HMRC, PRA and the FCA.

Each one of the regulators is responsible for different things. The FCA’s specific roles with banks is to make sure competitiveness is maintained, and making sure the banks day-to-day activity is compliant with the legal requirements, such as capital requirements, credit requirements, exposure requirements and transparency requirements.

There are plenty of banks that have received hefty fines from the FCA, and you can read about it more in depth on our UK bank regulation and famous scandals page.

Final Notes About Money Transfer Regulation

It is an absolute necessity to check whether the a company you pertain using for international money transfers is in fact regulated by the FCA, or another major regulatory body from around the world (such as ASIC or FINCEN). As a customer, the very first requirement you should have upon using such a service is safety and security. You would want your funds to be safe in any case, regardless of the financial situation of the provider you have decided to use, and you would want a secure international money transfer because you are providing the service provider some very delicate details in order to comply with Anti Money Laundering law. Checking for the best exchange rates should only comes second after clearing this issue.

Foreign Currency is Our Expertise.

If you want to know even more international money transfers then you should know our expert staff has written more than 20 articles on the subject, readily available for your pleasure.


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liran kalderon

Hi I need to make periodic transfers of dollars from my American account in the US to my account in Israel.
Is this something you do?


I urgently need to make a complaint as the fx transfer firm I have been dealing with have delayed transferring my money and I am having a problem with this.
Where do I file a complaint

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