Central Bank of Ireland Issues Warning on Unauthorised Firm – Umbrella Loans (Clone)

15 March 2022 Warning Notice


The Central Bank of Ireland (‘Central Bank’) today, 15 March 2022, published the name of an unauthorised firm, Umbrella Loans (Clone) (United Kingdom and Ireland) – operating the website: https://umbrellaloans.uk - in order to warn the public that it is not authorised by the Central Bank to provide financial services.

Umbrella Loans is advertising loans on its website but it holds no authorisation from the Central Bank as a Retail credit firm. In this instance the fraudulent firm cloned part of the name of a legitimate Central Bank authorised firm in order to deceive consumers. This scam is an example of an ‘advanced fee fraud’, where the clone firm seeks a payment upfront prior to providing a loan. The loans are never provided.

This unauthorised firm has cloned the details (part of the company name) of a legitimate firm called Umbrella Credit Limited which is authorised by the Central Bank and the name and company registration number of a firm authorised by the FCA.  It should be noted that there is no connection whatsoever between the Central Bank authorised firm, the FCA authorised firm, and the unauthorised entity that has cloned their details.

A list of unauthorised firms published to date is available on the Central Bank website.

It is a criminal offence for an unauthorised firm / person to provide financial services in Ireland that would require an authorisation under the relevant legislation which the Central Bank is the responsible body for enforcing. Consumers should be aware that, if they deal with a firm which is not authorised, they are not eligible for compensation from the Investor Compensation Scheme.

Fraudsters are increasingly using legitimate firms’ details to add an air of legitimacy to their fraud. The fraudsters will 'borrow' all of the legitimate information of an authorised / legitimate firm for the purpose of this fraud. They may quote authorisation numbers / company registration numbers and links to seemingly legitimate websites and even provide the real address of an authorised / legitimate firm.  Consumers are advised to check our register to verify a firm’s details and to call the firm back directly using its advertised phone number. Always access the register from our website, rather than through links in emails or on a firm’s / person’s website.

There are some further steps that individuals should take before dealing with firms / persons which purport to offer financial services:

  • Always double-check the URL and contact details of a firm / person in case it is a ‘clone firm / person’ pretending to be an authorised firm / person, such as your bank or a genuine investment firm.
  • Check the list of unauthorised firms.  If the firm / person is not on our list, do not assume it is legitimate – it may not have been reported to the Central Bank yet.
  • Check that the product being offered to you is present on the website of the legitimate company.
  • For further information, please visit the Avoiding Scams and Unauthorised Activity section of the Central Bank’s website.

Any person wishing to contact the Central Bank with information regarding such firms / persons may telephone (01) 224 4000. This line is also available to the public to check if a firm is authorised.

Notes to editors

This notice is published under Section 53 of the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013.