Financial services providers, investment firms and consumer credit firms have to be FCA authorised.
Here’s a summary of what you need to know.
According to provisions made under the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2000, financial activities have to be regulated by the FCA. Any firm (whether a business, a not-for-profit or a sole trader) carrying out a FCA regulated activities must be authorised or registered by them, unless they are exempt.
Banks, credit unions and insurance companies are regulated by the FCA and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
Applications for authorisation
You’ll have to apply to the FCA (or, if you’re dual-regulated, to the PRA) for FCA authorisation. This normally takes up to 6 months if complete but could take up to 12 months if your application is not complete upon submission. Your submission can be made as complete as possible if we, FCA authorisation consultants, help and guide you. There is an application fee to pay directly to the FCA Authorisations department.
Appointed Representatives (ARs)
An authorised firm may appoint another firm or person to carry on regulated activities on its behalf. When this happens, the authorised firm or ‘principal’ takes full responsibility for making sure its agent or ‘appointed representative’ complies with the FCA rules.
Responsibilities of an authorised firm
Once you obtain FCA authorisation, there’s a fee to pay each year. You’ll also have to meet the FCA’s minimum standards (threshold conditions) at all times, as well as complying with the rules and principles relevant to your business and send the regulator reports, usually through the FCA Gabriel system.
Why use FCA Authorisation Consultants?
Your firm will require FCA authorisation if it carries out an FCA regulated activities under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (regulated Activities Order).
Whether you’re seeking to broker insurance or mortgages, start a fintech company, provide investment advice or asset management services, or operate in the Consumer Credit Act (CCA) sector your firm will need to hold FCA authorisation in order to trade unless it benefits from one of the exemptions. From 2019, Claims Companies will also require to be authorised by the FCA.
Obtaining FCA authorisation requires demonstrating to the FCA that the firm’s business model is one which meets the FCA’s requirements, that the firm’s activities will be compliant, that the firm’s controllers are fit and proper, and that the firm has appropriate systems and controls in place. FCA authorisation can only be obtained if the all of the requirements are met.
FCA Authorisation website is a trading style of Compliance Consultant (http://www.complianceconsultant.org), and our experts have years of experience in regulatory compliance and assisting firms with preparing and submitting applications for FCA authorisations. We understand the financial services industry and we understand compliance. With this insight we help our clients develop their business model and develop their compliance.
All of our FCA authorised person and FCA approved person applications are overseen by a Chartered Fellow of The CISI (The leading securities and investment Institute). Our cost-effectiveness and customer focussed approach also means thousands of small businesses trust us with their FCA authorisation every year. Our team has decades of experience in compliance and regulated financial services. This experience means we understand what the Regulator is looking for, what the important issues are to address, what typical areas of concern the FCA may have and how to provide information in a way that meets requirements and provides the reassurance which the Regulator is seeking.
We can provide templates for submissions and the supporting documentation which sit behind them; and as a standard, we’ll also check all material prior to submission.
One of the key qualities of the service is the interpretation and response to any questions or queries which the FCA may raise, helping to ensure the process is as smooth and painless as possible.
If you want us to amend and personalise your policies, we can do this as well for an additional cost, but the final edit will be down to you, as it is your business that will be governed by these documents, and you need to make sure they are all singing the same tune.
Whoever you choose you need to be clear on these issues. Does the price include;
- Qualified Compliance specialists handling your application
- All policies and an annual compliance monitoring plan as required by the regulator?
- All forms completed on your behalf (excluding electronic signatures etc)
- All questions before submission at no extra cost
- Recommendations on wording for text answers to explain your firm’s operations
- All regulator questions and requests for explanations throughout the approval process at no extra charge
- Professional project management of the process
- Your questions answered throughout the approval process at no extra cost
Speak to one of our experts today for confidential and no obligation advice about FCA authorisation on 020 7097 1434.