Financial Conduct Authority—authorisation
Financial Conduct Authority—authorisation

The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Financial Conduct Authority—authorisation
  • The regulatory structure
  • Part 4A permission
  • What is FCA authorisation and what does it involve?
  • Requirements
  • Assessment criteria
  • The decision process
  • Right to refer to the Tribunal
  • Withdrawal of applications
  • Ongoing supervision

There are approximately 19,000 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated firms under the post-FSA regulatory structure, which has been in place since 1 April 2013. FCA firms carrying out one or more regulated activities in the UK must be directly authorised by the FCA—there is a single authorisation process for all types of firm. This Practice Note gives an overview of the FCA authorisation process. It does not describe the FCA's authorisation and registration process in relation to payment services institutions.

The regulatory structure

Since 1 April 2013 ('legal cut-over'), a new regulatory structure has existed in the UK. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has been replaced by the FCA, responsible for market conduct regulation, and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), responsible for prudential regulation.

Applicants who wish to carry on regulated activities, other than deposit-taking or carrying out or effecting contracts of insurance, now need to apply to the FCA for authorisation, which will lead and manage a single administrative process for authorising these firms. Deposit-taker and insurer applicants should apply to the PRA for authorisation (which then seeks the consent of the FCA, as such firms would be regulated by the PRA from a prudential perspective and the FCA from a conduct perspective). The regulators cooperate on authorisation decisions for these 'dual-regulated' firms.

For FCA-only authorised firms, the