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Survey to capture financial services activities information

Our PC renewal exercise allows us to collect information on how many firms carry out financial services activities as part of their work.

Law firms are able to provide these services if they are central to the delivery of their legal work. For example, financial services activities could involve providing legal indemnity insurance to a client buying a house when there is a defect on the title, or advising on debt linked to a matrimonial matter.

It is particularly common for firms who work in conveyancing, personal injury and personal insolvency. Because the work is linked to legal services you provide to your client, the majority of you carry out this work under our regulation, rather than needing separate authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as set out in an exemption in the legislation.

However, any organisation that carries out financial services activities has to be listed on the FCA's register. That means we need to provide the FCA with the names of firms with exemptions and information on their financial services activities.

Why we need to undertake a survey

We ask for this information through the PC renewal process, but reporting is inconsistent and some firms do not realise that what they are doing includes work that is regarded as a financial services activity. It is in your interests that we hold comprehensive, accurate information and that you are on the FCA register.

For example, other businesses – such as lenders or credit agencies – might refuse to work with a firm if they cannot verify that they are regulated or exempt to carry out such activities. So we are taking steps to make sure that everyone has the right information.

We will shortly be undertaking a survey of all firms to obtain these details. We have already worked with a number of firms to make sure the survey is simple to use and captures the right information.

Need help?

We have published an initial guide, which can help you work out whether your firm does in fact carry out financial services activities, and whether or not you need to be authorised by the FCA or can rely on SRA regulation.

Go to the guidance page

If you would rather speak to somebody about this, then phone our Ethics helpline.

The current FCA register is available here:

Go to the register