FCA Applications for Authorisation
In an ever-changing regulatory landscape, it is crucial that you get the FCA Authorisation process right! You may already have a strong business idea and the right people in place, but in order to conduct your activities legally in the UK you must first convince the FCA that you meet their stringent "Threshold Conditions" for authorisation, and can demonstrate a plan to comply with all the individual rules that apply to you. Get it wrong, and it's game over for your business.
Our expertise and understanding allow us to quickly understand your business model, determine what category of firm you are, what the products are that your offer, and also the specific regulatory requirements thereof. We then work with you to build an application which represents the business which you wish to undertake, in a way which is easy to understand for the Regulator and also other compliance and legal professionals.
The Application Process
After reaching out to us we will arrange a call with you to discuss the scope of your business in order to work out the exact permissions you will need. We will give you a run-down of the process and timings involved in your type of application, as well as the compliance burden you will face after your business has been given the permissions.
Reviewing and providing additional documents you need:
Following our initial kick-off meeting we will review all the existing policy documentation and provide you with any missing documents in a form of templates. These may include:
Regulatory Business Plan template
Template financial forecasts
Templates for listing controllers and approved persons
Internal and personal controls procedures
Client classification notices and policy
Risk Based Compliance Monitoring Programme - this lists all the rules that apply to your type of firm along with the nature and frequency of monitoring needed
Model for calculating financial resources and capital adequacy
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies and procedures
IT Security/Anti-Fraud Statements of Policy (for tech-based firms)
Assisting with tailoring and completing your documentation library:
We will work closely with you to tailor and complete all the documents you need to send to the FCA as part of the application. Most of these documents and policies will require your input, and we will be on hand to provide detailed guidance on working versions so you can bring them to a state that the FCA will be happy with.
Drafting the FCA Application:
When you have finalised your Business Plan and supporting information, we will draft detailed responses to the questions within the main application forms on your behalf. Where we need your input we will reach out to you with specific questions. The forms which capture information on your staff and owners will need to be filled out by the individuals and companies themselves; we will then go through them with a fine-toothed comb to spot any areas of concern or where we need further information.
Building and submitting the application pack to the FCA:
When we have finished working with you to draft and collate the application forms and supporting information, we will build the application pack for you in the FCA's Connect system and get it ready for submission. At this stage, you will need to pay the FCA an application fee. Naturally, we will let you know how much you can expect to pay at a very early stage of the application.
Assisting with the FCA Case Officer's requests for information:
After the FCA receives the application, there tends to be a wait time of a number of months before they complete their initial assessment, the wait time varies greatly depending on what type of firm, and the FCA's current workload. The FCA will then reach out to you via a "case officer" with requests for more information. When this occurs we will actively work with you to respond to the FCA, drafting initial responses on your behalf and providing detailed guidance on the best way to present supporting information. Generally speaking, there will be a number of "rounds" of questions from the FCA, and we will be by your side supporting you up to the point you become authorised.
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