UK FCA – Financial Conduct Authority 2018-12-03T15:32:25+00:00

UK FCA License
Applying for UK FCA Authorisation
Financial Conduct Authority

Overview

Firms and individuals must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to carry out regulated financial service activities and offer credit to consumers.

Regulated Financial Activities

Regulated activities relate to investments specified by the Treasury or to property, and include:

Dealing with investments (buying, selling etc) or offering or agreeing to do so, and in the case of insurance contracts, carrying out the contract

Arranging investment deals
Accepting deposits
Asset administration and safekeeping
Investment management and advising on investments
Creating, running or winding up collective investment schemes
Computer or web-based investment transactions
Dealing in securities – e.g. stocks and shares (or certificates representing them), or options and futures
Dealing with debentures, bonds, loan stock etc., including government bonds
Collective investment scheme units
Dealing with insurance contracts
Loans secured on land and other arrangements involving lan

Consumer Credit

Consumer credit activities include:

Selling on credit
Hiring or leasing out goods for more than 3 months
Lending money
Issuing credit cards or trading checks
Arranging credit for others
Offering hire purchase terms
Collecting debts
Helping people with debt problems or advising on credit standing

Apply for Authorisation

Before you apply, you’ll need to:

Decide what permission you need – there are several different ‘profiles’ for smaller firms. If they don’t fit your business, you’ll need to build your own;
Prepare a business plan setting out the planned activities, risks, budget and resources;
Agree which rules apply to your firm, then make sure you are ready and organised to comply with them;
Understand and agree the minimum regulatory financial requirements;
Decide which systems and controls will support the firm’s activities and meet FCA rules – you should plan to test and launch these before FCA decides on the application;
Establish which people in your firm need qualifications, e.g. the Diploma in Financial Planning – this would be an approved qualification for financial advisers;

Agree who will be the approved person and apply for this approval

The FCA will wish to correspond directly with the Applicant Firm to ensure no ambiguity over where responsibilities lie – however, we will normally be copied in on all communications and will help you formulate all responses, partially or entirely, as dictated by the questions themselves.

TBA will provide you full support including advice on response-strategy overall and overseeing the Authorisation process overall.

How to Prepare Your
Company Business Plan

When sending FCA your business plan, it should include (but not be limited to):

A full explanation of your business, its background (including its legal structure and creation) and what it is intending to do;
If you have identified a specific business opportunity or customer base;
Your objectives (things like market share, aims, assets under management);
Any long-term strategy and expansion plans;
A clear view on your target market, key customers, distribution, products and pricing;
The experience your customer will have of your business from day one;
Details of your intended investment strategies, fee and remuneration policies, governance framework and key personnel;
What experience your firm’s principals have of the type of regulated activities you want to conduct;
The employment background, experience and relevant qualifications of all individuals who will be performing significant influence controlled functions and how this will help them with their role;
Financial projections for at least 1 year (although you can send these separately with your financial accounts);
Any key dependencies and business risks;
Your marketing strategy;
Details of any outsourcing plans or other key operational matters;
An analysis of key conduct risks;

Becoming FCA Authorised

Bringing nine years of FSA (now FCA) experience to the market – we specialise in Financial Services permissions for most types of firms, and those looking to become authorised for the first time.

When a group is looking to enter the world of Financial Services, they have a long list of tasks they must go through. From the establishment of their company, setting up banking, taking care of licensing or regulation, while keeping within their budgets.

Specialized in online trading companies looking to establish their business in either in the United Kingdom or New Zealand among others, we will assist you with your corporate, banking and financial services.

We facilitate our client’s ability to expand and conduct business globally.

Our Services

You might currently be:

An Appointed Representative but still see scope for continued success if you went it alone;
A Consumer Credit firm grappling with the new regime and new licencing requirements;
In wholesale or investment banking and thinking of starting your own consultancy; or

You might simply be unsure if what you’re planning to do even needs Authorisation.

TBA can help you under any of the above scenarios, and more.

What so Special about our Service

We will translate an intensive part-day interview and subsequent correspondence via phone and e-mail into a fully-developed Authorisation Application, including a Regulatory Business Plan.

We will make simple and clear everything that you will need to supplement the application – e.g. accounts and financials, to appropriate insurance cover – and help you with organising and generating these, where possible.

We will also develop and create for your firm a tailored Compliance Monitoring Programme.

Our service includes seeing your case through especially when problems arise – even to the point of appearing in-person with you or any of your representatives in front of FCA Committees (at extra cost).

When your application is received at the FCA, you should receive confirmation of receipt and number of weeks after that, details of your named Case Officer.

The FCA will only communicate directly with the Applicant Firm, with us copied in. Where you receive a query from the FCA, we will assist you fully with responding. Often of course this will entail our consulting yourselves and other relevant parties – e.g. your accountant.

Ultimately therefore – we will handle all queries for you whether directly or indirectly. You are also advised to forward to us all relevant correspondence that occurs between yourselves and the FCA.

For non-Authorisations cases the process is similar but often less involved – except where an upward Variation of Permission represents a notable increase in the Firm’s Scope of Permission, where the process may feel very much like an Authorisation.

Our Services and
Outcomes Guarantees

Do you provide guaranteed outcomes?

We cannot obviously provide guaranteed outcomes. Outcomes of applications are at no point guaranteed – as the final decision will always rest with the FCA.

However, what we do offer is a programmed mode of payment, while final payment will be settled only after and upon successful application.

Please note that this assumes full and total disclosure to us of all even remotely-relevant information, especially any information that could at all in any way be deleterious to your Application, and whether or not that information in the event had a bearing on the Application’s failure.

What happens if the FCA is minded to refuse the application?

All Applications must be granted unless the FCA can cite a substantive basis for refusing to do so. Where this occurs, you will normally be allowed to know what that basis was.

The onus will lie with the individual FCA Case Officer to ‘prove’ and gather evidence for the case against granting the Application.

This case will have to be presented to an internal committee. If this committee agrees with the arguments cited, then it will be escalated to a higher committee composed of individuals from both within and outside of the FCA. The Applicant firm will be invited to make personal representations at this committee. If this should occur, we would attend with you (if you wished).

If this committee finds against the Applicant firm, then final recourse would be to appeal via a tribunal. We would of course help you with this too (at extra cost).

What can cause an application to fail?

Most commonly non-disclosure of material facts, or oversight of something you did not think was pertinent or relevant;
Your Business Plan does not demonstrate a coherent, logical flow and is not presented with an expected level of articulacy (written document);
Your business case for seeking to begin a Regulated Activity is not deemed sufficient;
Not enough relevant experience;
Your accounts and forecasts may have discrepancies;
Your organisational structure, and/or the fitness & propriety (or otherwise) of those within it can raise concerns;
Evidence that key staff members are suitably equipped to perform the proposed functions may be deficient; checks yield undisclosed facts and history;
Intelligence from other outside agencies;

One or more of the Threshold Conditions have not been met (e.g. residential status/domicile) – the list can indeed go on!

The Service Offering

A one-stop service to achieve FCA Authorisation as a financial/FX markets intermediary.

Our services including producing your own company’s accounts and financials – essentially balance sheets, cash flow and profit-&-loss forecasting, overviewing and defining objectives.

We will also where needed advise on business structuring and other peripheral, related considerations.