FCA Authorisation: Key Insights from our Latest Authorisation Webinar

Our recent authorisations webinar shed light on the intricacies of the authorisation process with the FCA, including considerations around authorisations for new entities, Variation of Permissions (VoP) and Change in Control. The session included a Q&A segment, where attendees had the opportunity to seek clarity on various aspects of the FCA authorisation process. This article summarises the key questions raised, and the valuable insights shared by Complyport speakers, Richard Corbyn and Kyriakos Christofidis.

  1. Demonstrating Compliance with Consumer Duty: One attendee inquired about the challenge of demonstrating compliance with Consumer Duty when empirical evidence is not readily available. The speakers emphasised the importance of cultivating a consumer-centric culture within the organisation. This entails ensuring transparency, clarity, and suitability of products and services, handling complaints effectively, and regularly reviewing and monitoring performance.
  2. Scrutiny for Variation of Permission (VoP) Applications: The level of scrutiny applied to applications for a variation of permission was addressed. The speakers explained that the FCA maintains a consistent level of scrutiny across all application types. They emphasised the need for comprehensive and well-prepared submissions to meet the FCA’s expectations.
  3. Turnaround Time for Authorisation Applications: The speakers provided insights into the current timeline for authorisation applications. They noted that the FCA has improved efficiency in allocating case officers and the assessment period has generally shortened over the past year. However, the timeframe may vary depending on the specifics of each case.
  4. Assistance with AML Registrations: A question was raised regarding whether Complyport offers assistance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) registrations. Although in practice, the same due diligence should be applied to an AML registrations, the process can be intricate with specific requirements. Many of our clients choose to opt for support in completing their applications
  5. Overseas Compliance Officers and Money Laundering Reporting Officers: Attendees sought clarification on how the FCA views compliance officers and money laundering reporting officers based overseas. The speakers explained that the FCA generally prefers these roles to be located near the principal place of business. However, they acknowledged the possibility of certain directors or finance directors being based overseas, providing key decision-making and operations are conducted in the UK.
  6. Impact of Previous Application Declines: Concerns were raised regarding the potential negative perception of future applications due to prior declines. The speakers clarified that if the previous application was withdrawn or had honest mistakes, it can be resubmitted with improvements based on the FCA’s feedback. However, non-transparency or withholding of information may affect the regulator’s perception of subsequent applications.
  7. Providing Policies and Procedures in the Application: The speakers addressed the question of whether the FCA expects firms to provide policies and procedures in the application when specifically asked. They advised caution and recommended complying with the FCA’s requests, as they may review those documents at a later stage.

Conclusion: The Q&A session during the recent FCA authorisation webinar offered valuable insights into key concerns and queries regarding the application process. From demonstrating compliance with the Consumer Duty to addressing the scrutiny applied to variation of permission applications, the speakers provided guidance on navigating the complex landscape of FCA authorisation. Firms seeking authorisation can leverage these insights to enhance their understanding and improve their chances of success in obtaining FCA approval.

How Can Complyport Help?

The Authorisation process can be a challenging and time-consuming endeavour. At Complyport, our team has a wealth of experience in dealing with the regulator and their approach to authorisations. We will leverage this experience to provide the best advice and guidance to you throughout each stage of your application.

We offer a flexible approach to suit your needs, providing a fully project-managed service to review and provide feedback on draft applications prior to submission.

If your firm is seeking to acquire additional licensing to expand its business scope, we can also support you with other regulatory applications such as variations of permissions (VoP), change in control, and legal status. Please click here to learn how we can assist you.

Our fully project-managed authorisation service includes:

Pre-Application Consultancy

  • Our team works with you to understand your goals and activities.
  • We listen to your ideas for the future and ensure the correct regulatory permissions are applied for.
  • We identify and resolve potentially contentious issues before submission.

Construction of the FCA Application Pack

  • We provide support with drafting or reviewing your regulatory business plan and provide assistance with the preparation of relevant forms.
  • We lend our expertise in supporting the creation of financial projections and key assumptions including our templates.
  • Take advantage of our Template Compliance Monitoring Programme appropriately tailored to your business in the submission of your film’s application to the FCA.

Post Submission Queries

  • We will assist with post-submission issues or queries raised by the FCA.
  • We will advise on the best approach to take when dealing with the FCA.

Provision of Appropriate Compliance Documentation

  • We provide compliance documentation after your application is submitted to the FCA in order to ensure you are ready to meet your regulatory and compliance obligations.
  • The documentation includes compliance manuals, a tailored Compliance Monitoring Programme, registers and policies.

Ongoing Support

Many of the firms we help to get authorised go on to take up our ongoing support services to ensure they continue to meet their regulatory requirements, for more information please click here.

Interested in seeing how we can help you in seeking Authorisation?

Contact Thomas Salmon via thomas.salmon@complyport.co.uk to book a free consultation.

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