FCA Authorisation FAQ’s

How do I apply for FCA Authorisation?
Once you have identified a business need for authorisation, the process to get Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Authorisation is an exercise in completing strategic, detailed forms and producing key supporting documentation.  The FCA forms are in a prescribed format, however, identifying, structuring and collating the correct and most relevant information is neither obvious nor intuitive.  Firms typically appoint a regulatory consultant to complete and manage the FCA application through to completion.

What to consider when getting authorised:

  • A Regulatory Business Plan
  • Scope of Permission required
  • Financial Resources
  • Personnel to perform ‘Controlled Functions’
  • Fees and levies

How long does it take to get authorised?
The time it takes to get authorised will vary from firm to firm.  However, the FCA publishe an approval process window of between 3 and 6 months to reach a decision.  This time can be extended, subject to the complexity of the application.

What is an Approved Person?
An approved person who performs a ‘controlled function’ within your authorised firm. Each approved person will need to satisfy and maintain a fit and proper test (FIT).

What is a ‘controlled function’?
A ‘controlled function’ is a key function that has a set of standards (the Statements of Principle and Code of Practice for Approved Persons – APER). 
An example of some controlled functions are;
CF1 Director function
CF3 Chief executive function
CF10 Compliance oversight function
CF11 Money laundering reporting function
CF30 Customer function.

What is the minimum number of Approved Persons required at authorisation?
The minimum number of individuals that the FCA will accept as Approved Persons to handle all the required controlled functions is two.  Firstly, because the FCA’s regulatory corporate governance (know as Senior Management Arrangements, System and Controls – SYSC) require that the sound and prudent management of a firm is overseen by at least two individuals with sufficient experience.  And secondly, to provide a ‘contingency’ arrangement in the event of a key individual being incapacitated.

Is there an FCA fee to get authorised?
Yes.  Depending again on the complexity of the application, the FCA will charge a fixed fee of either £1,500 GBP or £5,000 GBP.  This fee is payable by cheque at the time of submitting the application.  There is no VAT payable on this fee.

How much does it cost to get authorised?
The cost of getting authorised will depend on the complexity of the firm and the permissions required.  However, the cost should include the preparation and drafting of the application pack and the initial draft of all the associated documents (compliance manuals and procedures), submission of the pack and liaison with the FCA through the application process.  There may be a need to attend face-to-face meetings with the FCA.

In additional to the cost of the application process, there will be costs associated with establishing the corporate entity to be authorised and its group structure, and drafting various legal documents and agreements.

What Capital Requirements for application firms?
This will vary from firm to firm contact us for more information.

How do you start the FCA Authorisation Application process?
Call us on 020 8720 7497 or send us an email by clicking ‘Get In Touch

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