The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed that it is investigating 40 financial advice firms and six mortgage brokers for enforcement action.
The investigations include enforcement actions related to miss-selling, integrity, fraud and unauthorized activities. The probes relate to only enforcement actions but not supervisory visits or supervision enquiries.
The number is up by 44% compared with a year ago, when the regulator investigated more than the 32 advisers and brokers.
In January 2014, FCA reported that there are 21,881 authorized financial advisers.
On 30 July 2014, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has received increasing numbers of claims against Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) that are no longer trading.
Clare Griffiths senior policy adviser Association of Professional Financial Advisers said: "When it took over from the FSA, the regulator said it would nip problems in the bud before they develop and, assuming these investigations uncover real problems, that is to be welcomed.
"If firms are carrying out unauthorised activities we would be pleased to see them dealt with appropriately. Hopefully this approach from the FCA will lead to reduced consumer detriment and fewer claims falling on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme," he added.