Britain’s financial watchdog set targets for tackling scams

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Britain’s financial watchdog set itself targets on Wednesday to help consumers by 2025 cut losses from investment scams and avoid products that are too risky.

Financial scams have rocketed as more consumers look on the internet for products.

The collapse of investment firm London Capital & Finance has also forced the government to pay millions of pounds in compensation to investors.

The growth of scams has required the Financial Conduct Authority to become more assertive in protecting consumers, who lost nearly 570 million pounds ($790 million) to investment fraud in the financial year that ended in April. The sum has tripled since 2018.

“We want to see a consumer investment market in which consumers can invest with confidence, understanding the risks they are taking and the regulatory protections provided,” the FCA said in a statement.

The watchdog said that by 2025 it would cut by a fifth the number of consumers missing out on investment earnings, halve the number of consumers investing in unsuitably risky products, and cut the money lost to investment scams carried out by regulated firms.

To achieve these goals, the watchdog said it would explore changes in rules to make it easier for firms to provide more help to consumers who want to invest in relatively straightforward products.

It will also launch a new 11 million pound investment harm campaign, and be more assertive and agile in how it “detects, disrupts and takes action against scammers”. Rules to stabilise the soaring bill for compensating consumers for losses will also be reviewed.