Financial Conduct Authority—preparing for authorisation
Financial Conduct Authority—preparing for authorisation

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

  • Financial Conduct Authority—preparing for authorisation
  • What has changed since 1 April 2013?
  • Continuity with the FSA regime
  • What does authorisation involve?
  • The application process
  • Contents of applications
  • Supporting documents
  • Pre-authorisation meeting
  • The authorisation fee
  • Impact of MiFID II on the FCA authorisation process

How should a firm prepare for authorisation? This Practice Note highlights some of the issues firms need to think about and address while preparing to apply for permission under FSMA 2000, Pt 4A (Part 4A permission).

As a preliminary measure, firms need to establish whether their proposed business requires authorisation to carry on regulated activities. All firms carrying out regulated activities by way of business need to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). For guidance on what constitutes 'regulated activities', see Practice Note: What are regulated activities?

The authorisation process involves much more than just filling in forms. Firms seeking Part 4A permission need to prepare well in advance in order to:

  1. establish what will be involved in the authorisation process;

  2. put in place the necessary systems, controls and compliance procedures;

  3. train staff and draft appropriate documentation for the activities that they propose to undertake.

They also need to prepare their application packs.

What has changed since 1 April 2013?

On 1 April 2013 ('legal cut-over'), a new regulatory regime was put in place in the UK with the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) replacing the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Firms regulated by the FSA prior to 1 April 2013 have been 'grandfathered' into the new regulatory regime and do not