How to find out if your international money transfer provider is FCA authorised

Check if your money transfer company is FCA accredited and make a safe choice with your next international transfer.

Using an international money transfer provider is a cost-effective and convenient way to send money overseas from the UK. But how do you know you’ve chosen a safe money transfer company? Here you can learn about what it means to be FCA authorised and how to ensure that your money is safe when it comes to international transfers.

How can I ensure my money transfer is safe?

When choosing an international money transfer provider, it is important to check its FCA status.

FCA stands for the Financial Conduct Authority. It regulates financial service companies and financial markets in the UK. All UK-based companies dealing with international money transfers need to either be authorised or registered by the FCA.

You can use our table to compare some of the biggest and well-known money transfer providers, who are all FCA authorised.

How does the FCA supervise international money transfer providers?

The FCA has a series of core responsibilities when it comes to international money transfers. These include ensuring that companies that wish to engage in the transfer of funds across borders (over the value of €3 million per month) correctly adopt the following:

  • Payment Services Regulations 2017
  • Electronic regulations 2011
  • PSD2 2019

FCA authorised or FCA registered – what’s the difference?

They may seem interchangeable, but there is actually a clear difference between being FCA authorised and FCA registered.

FCA Authorised

Being FCA authorised means there are certain safeguards on your money. Any company authorised by the FCA must safeguard your money by keeping it separate from company funds. This way, if it goes bust, you’re more likely to get your money back.

FCA registered

Being FCA registered is a much weaker level of protection for you. To be FCA registered, the company only needs to show the FCA that it is based in the UK and that none of its managers have been convicted of financial crimes. It may also choose to safeguard your money by placing it separate to company funds, but it isn’t obliged to do so by law.

In other words, to ensure the safest possible money transfer from the UK, it is best to opt for a company that is FCA authorised.

How to check if a company is FCA authorised or registered

If you are unsure whether your chosen international money transfer provider is FCA authorised or just FCA registered, then you can check on the FCA’s Financial Services Register.

If you can’t find it on the register, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s operating illegally. It may just be based elsewhere.

The next step would be to look at its papers or search for any information on its website to find out where it is based. Or you can call the FCA’s consumer helpline on 0300 500 0597 from the UK or +4420 7066 1000 from abroad.

If the company isn’t registered with the FCA or an EU regulator, then avoid it. It may be operating illegally and your money will not be protected.

What are my rights when it comes to a safe money transfer?

Under British law, money transfer services and banks are required to disclose information both before and after a transfer. These rules apply to all international transfers of £50 or more.

Before a transfer you have the right to know:

  • The exchange rate
  • Fees and taxes collected from you
  • Fees charged by agents overseas and others involved in the transfer process
  • The amount your recipient is expected to receive (excluding foreign taxes and recipient fees)

You also have the right to know:

  • Your ability to cancel the transfer. Unless the transfer has been picked up or deposited, you have 30 minutes (sometimes more) to cancel with no charge.
  • The company or bank’s process to investigate and fix mistakes. A company typically has a 90 day period in which to resolve any problems.

How best to avoid money scams

Choosing an FCA authorised money transfer provider is one way to keep your money safe. However, money scams are on the rise, so it is important to remain vigilant.

Here are our top tips to help you to avoid money transfer scams:

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails and phone calls. No money transfer provider will ever call or email you to confirm your ID, password or payment details. If you ever get something like this, report it to the company via its official website, and send the details to Action Fraud and the FCA.
  • Never send money to strangers. Make sure you know who you’re sending money to. If it’s for an online auction or sale, be sure that you have all the seller’s information and have confirmed they’re reputable before sending your payment.
  • Ask questions. If they answer quickly and accurately, it’s a good sign that they’re a safe money transfer company.

The most common money transfer scams you should watch out for

Frequently asked questions

Finder survey: What proportion of Brits value security above all else when choosing a money transfer service?

24% of people who would use a money transfer service said security was the most important aspect in choosing a brand.

Response55+45-5435-4425-3416-24
Security28.27%20.79%23.33%23.39%22.34%
Source: Finder survey by Censuswide of 690 Brits, December 2023
We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MikeFebruary 21, 2019

    Is Worldwide Currencies authorised with the FCA?

      AvatarFinder
      CharisseFebruary 22, 2019Finder

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

      Yes, Worldwide Currencies Limited is fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (registration 525361) for the provision of payment services.

      You can find this information on their website, under ‘Security’ tab/page.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

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