Is My Money Safe and Secure with FCA Authorised Money Transfer Providers?
If you are looking to find the safest international money transfers, then understanding the international money transfer regulations in the UK is critical. The UK’s financial services regulator, known as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), ensures that any money transfer provider it authorises, upholds certain standards to qualify as a safe and secure money transfers.
UK International Money Transfer Regulations FAQ
How the UK Financial Conduct Authority regulates international money transfers
What is the FCA? The FCA, which stands for Financial Conduct Authority, 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 the FCA (all detailed in our money transfer history timeline).
The FCA is the regulatory body for a wide number of financial services, including but not limited to; insurance firms, financial advisers, banks and of course i money transfer companies who both transfer money internationally and repatriate it from overseas. Every company that wishes to engage in the transfer of funds across borders (over the value of €3 million per month), needs to be authorised under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 and the electronic money regulations 2011, laws set by the UK government but implemented by the FCA. It’s also worth noting the FCA is responsible for enforcing the EU’s payment services directive (PSD2). Money Transfer Regulations the UK still complies with following its exit from the European Union. Ultimately, the FCA exists to ensure firms are legitimate and safe international money transfer providers that are secured to a necessary degree and should be able to provide secure money transfers.
The authority is governed by a board appointed by the treasury and supervises the activity of over 50,000 UK-facing financial services firms.
Official website: https://www.fca.org.uk/
Offices: The Financial Conduct Authority UK office headquarters is at: 25 The North Colonnade, London E14 5HS. Here’s a unique photograph we took of the impressive building.
Core responsibilities of the FCA to allow safe money transfers
- Ensure firms are correctly adopting the Payment Services Regulations of 2017, the electronic money regulations of 2011 and PSD2 2019 (i.e. all international money transfer regulations in UK).
- Business conduct requirements
- Capital resources and requirements
- Segregation and safeguarding of client funds
- Reporting and notifications (firms must report to the FCA if they breach FCA guidelines)
- Setting the guidance and rules for customer disputes (investigating customer complaints falls to the Financial Ombudsman Service to do that)
- Regulation committees and periodical FCA checks
- Issue warnings and remove licenses of unsafe providers
- Escalating issues to Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) and the Commissioner of Complaints
- Supervision over Financial Crime
- Supervision over Anti Money Laundering
FCA Approved & Authorised Secure Money Transfer Firms
The following list of companies are authorised as either a Payment Institution or Electronic Money Institution; these are firms that the Financial Conduct Authority UK approves to offer safe international money transfers and adhere to the UK’s international money transfer regulations.
|Company||Companies House #||PSD Status|
|Currencies Direct Ltd||900669||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Tor Currency Exchange Limited||900706||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|TTT Moneycorp Ltd||00738837||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Currency Solutions Limited||4864491||Authorised Payment Institution|
|UKForex Ltd. (Now OFX)||902028||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Global Reach Partners Limited||04344764||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Currency Index Ltd||06586857||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Transferwise Ltd (Wise / Wise.com)||900507||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Axia Ltd||05762951||No longer authorised|
|FairFX PLC||05539698||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Azimo Ltd||900220||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|CurrencyFair Ltd||(registered in Ireland)||Regulated by Central Irish Bank|
|AFEX Markets Plc||07061516||Authorised|
|Halo Financial Limited||5155787||Authorised Payment Institution|
|World First Limited UK||900508||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Foreign Currency Direct PLC||902022||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|VFX Financial PLC||900530||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Ebury Partners UK Limited||900797||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Pure FX Limited||05990857||Authorised Payment Institution|
|HiFX Europe Limited||3517451||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Western Union Payment Services GB Limited||11326797||Authorised Payment Institution|
|MoneyGram International Limited||03287157||Authorised Payment Institution|
|WorldRemit Ltd||7110878||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Kantox Limited||900891||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Travelex Europe Limited||900537||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Foreign Currency Exchange Limited||900205||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|CurrencyUK Limited||4017212||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Key Currency Limited||9603083||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited||1896481||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Smart Currency Exchange Limited||05282305||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Trans-Fast Remittance Limited||4609973||Authorised Payment Institution|
|TransferGo Ltd||07914165||Authorised Payment Institution|
|NatWest Markets Plc||SC090312||Authorised|
|The Foremost Currency Group Limited||900204||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Post Office Management Services Limited||08459718||Authorised|
|Virgin Money plc||06952311||Authorised|
|Veem||(registered in the USA)||Regulated by FinCEN|
|Privalgo Limited||900887||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|Payoneer (EU) Limited||900105||EEA Authorised|
|Xoom||(registered in the USA)||Regulated by FinCEN|
|Ria||(registered in the USA)||Regulated by FinCEN|
|Lebara Money||09753115||No longer authorised|
|Paysend plc||900004||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|SendFX Pty Ltd||(registered in Australia)||Regulated by ASIC|
|Flash Partners Pty Ltd||(registered in Australia)||Regulated by ASIC|
|Airwallex (UK) Limited||900876||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
|EasyFX Limited||592260||Authorised via VFX PLC|
|Frontierpay Ltd||577057||Authorised Payment Institution|
|Revolut Ltd||900562||Authorised Electronic Money Institution|
Global Currency Exchange Network Ltd
(now trading as GC Partners Ltd)
|04675786||Authorised Payment Institution|
All authorised Electronic Money Institutions and Payment Institutions are required to appoint a chief compliance officer (CCO) and money laundering reporting officer (MLRO).
KYC Issues from the consumer side
When we look at reviews of the likes of Wise and XE money transfers, even though the majority of customer reviews are positive describing a smooth process, the disgruntled customers oftentimes focus on KYC issues. By KYC issues we mean that money transfer service providers – for the most part those entertaining large transfers but also remittances companies (geared at low-value remittances), are requesting more documents about the origins of the money, its recipient, and the reason in which the money is being transferred. The reason the aforementioned companies and any other currency broker would be asking for more documents is AML laws.
To learn more about the requirements that you will be requiring to sign up with an international money transfer service, as per UK international money transfer regulations, view this guide about KYC documents required to sign up with a money transfer service.
Why Stick To FCA-Authorised Payment Providers in the money transfer space?
In simple terms, if you want to have the same level of confidence when issuing overseas payments via a specialised payment provider, as you would with a full-scale bank, then the payment provider should be an FCA authorised firm that undergoes the scrutinization of the UK’s leading regulatory body. An independent body, with no vested interest in the firm, makes sure things are happening as they should be. A firm simply stating they offer safe money transfers or that they have a secure website is insufficient without a third party public body verifying this is the case.
Think of a money transfer company as a mediator. You s