How we process approved person applications

When you send your application form on Connect, the system will generate an automated response acknowledging receipt and submission.

If you make a paper application, we will send an acknowledgement letter within 48 hours.

Processing times

We are legally obliged to decide on an application within 90 days of receiving it. But if we need more information from your firm, the statutory ‘clock’ will be stopped until we get that information.

We operate to a voluntary service standard. We aim to decide on 85% of applications within:

  • 2 days for Form C and Form D notifications
  • 5 days for Appointed Representative customer functions (CF30) and significant influence functions

The rules on the process are in SUP 10A of our Handbook.

Checking progress

Connect shows the progress of your application, as does the Financial Services Register. If the application has not been approved and has exceeded our statutory service standards for timely response, you can email us at [email protected] for an update.

We only provide progress reports to the firm, not individuals.

Effective dates on forms A and E

We have noticed that an increasing number of firms are now using the effective date box on these forms. We will make every reasonable effort to meet the timeline. But remember that individuals must not perform a controlled function until approval is given.

Non-responders

During assessment, we may ask you for more information to help reach a decision. If you do not reply within four weeks, you will be considered a ‘non-responder’. We will try again to get the information, but may reject your application if we can’t.

Refusing and withdrawing an application

If an application is refused:

  • a recommendation would be made to our Regulatory Transaction Committee (RTC)
  • the RTC will issue warning notices to the candidate and the applicant firm, if they agree that the candidate is not fit and proper
  • the candidate and/or the firm could then make written or oral representations to the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC)
  • the RDC will issue decision notices to the candidate and the firm if they decide to refuse the application
  • the candidate and firm could then refer the refusal to the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber)

Numbers of applications received

We publish a list of approved persons applications received and processed. The figures are published online every six months.

Non-routine applications

We class an application as non-routine where:

  • the firm and/or candidate:
    • makes opposing statements
    • answers questions incorrectly, either knowingly or unknowingly
    • does not tell us certain information
  • we hold information on the candidate, which raises concerns around their fitness and propriety
  • we are concerned about an authorised firm’s systems and controls, especially around how they monitor the approved person

Our process

We need to evaluate the candidate’s fitness and propriety in line with our Fit and Proper Test.

As part of our assessment, we may need to:

  • obtain information from your firm, the candidate and/or the candidate’s former employer(s)
  • interview the candidate
  • liaise with other regulatory bodies or organisations
  • obtain information from third parties

Possible outcomes

If we are satisfied with the candidate’s fitness and propriety, and the firm’s systems and controls, we will approve the application. If not, we will recommend the application is refused.

You can withdraw an application at any stage during the process.

Timescales

Legally, we have to decide on an application within 90 days – if we do need more information from your firm, the ‘clock’ will be stopped until we receive that information.

Withdrawing applications

Your firm or candidate can withdraw their application by completing and sending us a Form B – Notice to withdraw an application to perform controlled functions.

This form is a paper form and both the candidate and firm need to sign the form.

The original signed form must be received by us so we can complete the withdrawal.

Applications for approval for Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)-designated controlled functions

For dual regulated firms, the PRA leads the assessment of applications for approval for PRA-designated Significant Influence Functions. However, the PRA requires our consent before approving an application for an individual to perform any PRA-designated SIF.

If we do not consent, the PRA is obliged to refuse the application. We will ensure that conduct-related skills and experience are taken into account when assessing PRA-designated SIF applications. We will either give or refuse our consent to these applications.

Further details of the PRA’s process in respect of the determination of applications for approval of PRA-designated controlled functions can be found on the PRA’s website.

Guidance on what a ‘good application’ looks like

Please note this is not an exhaustive list and there may be additional factors that need to be considered based on your application/request.

Things to do before submitting applications to Authorisations

  • applicant firms are expected to have conducted their own due diligence to satisfy themselves that candidates fully meet the fit and proper tests before submitting an application.
  • the applicant firm provides full responses to fitness and propriety questions at point of submission/full explanation to any questions answered ‘yes’.
  • the applicant firm discloses sufficient details for us to assess the impact on the candidate’s fitness and propriety.
  • the applicant firm submits responses within the requested deadlines.
  • the applicant firm has provided an explanation or sufficient detail for any gaps in the candidate’s employment history and/or a termination or disciplinary in relation to a previous role for us to assess the impact on the candidate’s fitness and propriety.
  • when firms supply further information, they should provide the actual details that cover the response.
  • the applicant firm provides the list of the candidate’s directorships (and former directorships) when answering yes to the Directorships question on the individual’s section.
  • the applicant firm provides supplementary information to support the supplementary questions mentioned in the application form.
  • the applicant firm provides sufficient details for us to be satisfied the firm has adequately assessed the candidate’s competency and capability to perform the control function/s and/or role/s.
  • the Declaration page of the application has been signed by the candidate and the firm.

Common causes of delays in reaching determination of an application

  • it transpires that the applicant firm has not in fact conducted thorough due diligence on the candidate before submitting the application and they then have to conduct this after submission rather than before.
  • the applicant firm does not submit responses within the requested deadlines.
  • when firms supply further information, they should provide the actual details that cover our response instead of sending a large document and just advising us to read it and/or firms should pinpoint where the answers lie in the document.
  • the applicant firm answers yes to the Directorships question on the individual’s section but does not provide the list of the candidate’s directorships (and former directorships).
  • the applicant firm says that there is supplementary information attached but fails to provide this information.
  • the applicant firm answers yes to a supplementary question e.g. Will the candidate become a chair of the board or chair of any board committees? but does not provide the list/further information.