Unauthorised Firms

   

All firms which hold an authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland (‘Central Bank’), or where applicable, the SSM, to provide financial services in Ireland are listed in our Registers section.  Prior to entering into a financial services transaction, members of the public can check the regulatory status of the firm they are dealing with.

Please note that some firms based in the European Economic Area may be regulated in their Home State and may be authorised to provide services in Ireland under Passporting arrangements.

To check the regulatory status of a firm, please check online in our Registers section or contact the Central Bank directly by telephone on 00 353 1 224 4000.

Consequences of Dealing with Unauthorised Firms

You should be aware that if you deal with unregulated firms you will not have access to the following protections:

  • Investor compensation schemes
  • The services of the Financial Services Ombudsman
  • The Directors and senior management of unregulated firms are not subject to the Fitness and Probity Regime
  • Unregulated firms are not subject to prudential requirements such as regulatory capital requirements or safeguarding of client funds

Unauthorised Investment Firms and Warning Notices

Under the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013, the Central Bank has the authority to publish warning notices naming persons or firms who are providing financial services without the appropriate authorisation or who are holding themselves out to be a regulated financial service provider where they do not have the appropriate authorisation to provide financial services.  A list of unauthorised firms in respect of whom warning notices have been published by the Central Bank to date is available at List/Search Unauthorised Firms.

If you have been approached about an investment scam - or think you are a victim - report it to the Central Bank and you may also wish to report the matter to the Gardaí.

Checking an Authorisation 

The Central Bank publishes Registers of all the firms and individuals authorised by us on our website.  Members of the public can use the search function to check whether or not a provider is authorised.

Tips on Using the Registers

  • Under European law, some firms may be allowed to operate in Ireland without being authorised by us.  Such firms are regulated by their home state, although the Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for some regulation in the Consumer Protection area (known as conduct of business rules) such as advertising.  These firms may not appear on the Registers, so if in doubt please contact us using the details below to confirm their status.  You can also check on the firm's website, which should indicate which country regulates them, and search for them in that country's equivalent of the Registers.
  • Many firms using one or more trading names in addition to their legal name (you may recall hearing ads on the radio saying 'X trading as Y is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland).  If the trading name does not appear, try searching for their legal name, which should be indicated on their website and literature.
  • Try using fewer keywords if you do not get a hit the first time around- perhaps search for the first word in the firm's name.
  • Some larger providers might operate using a number of companies, each with a different class of authorisation.  Make sure you search for the correct name, which should be clearly indicated on the relevant literature and the website.
  • Bear in mind that not all financial service providers require regulation by the Central Bank.  Examples of financial service providers that do not presently require authorisation by us are:

            -  credit intermediaries authorised by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

            -  online betting and gaming websites

            -  debt collectors

           -   loss adjustors i.e. individuals/firms that are employed by the insurance company and not the consumer

           -   financial education companies