Find out more about the steps we take when assessing applications from firms applying for full permission
We review the application:
- We assess whether the application is complete, as this guides our timetable, and consider whether we need to go back to the firm for more information. This may be the case even where the application is complete, particularly for more complex applications.
- We review the structure of the firm, including its resources and management systems. We will look at who owns and runs the firm, including key people such as controllers and approved persons.
- We assess any information disclosed by the firm in the application and check it against various databases and information held by other regulatory agencies.
- We assess the firm’s business model and consider whether it complies with the rules set out in our Handbook and, in particular, in the Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC). For certain sectors (eg, credit broking and high-cost short-term credit) we check for compliance with any additional rules that apply (eg, the cap on high-cost short-term credit).
- We review how the firm engages with customers to check that they are treated fairly during their relationship with the firm.
- For some applications, we may visit a firm or invite its representatives to attend a meeting with us.
Our authorisations team recommends a decision to grant or refuse the firm’s application, with input from a member of the authorisations management team.
Regulatory Transactions Committee
Our internal Regulatory Transactions Committee (RTC) is responsible for taking decisions on applications that are referred to it. The RTC decides in all cases where the recommendation is to refuse an application.
If the decision is to authorise the firm for the permissions applied for:
- The firm receives confirmation in writing and a ‘Scope of Permission’ notice.
- Our Financial Services Register is updated.
- Our Consumer Credit Interim Permission Register is updated to show the firm as ‘fully authorised’ where the firm had interim permission.
If the decision is to refuse a firm’s application:
- If the RTC agrees with a recommendation to refuse, a Warning Notice is sent to the firm proposing to refuse the application.
- Firms can make written and/or oral representations to the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) before a final decision is made.
- We will issue a Decision Notice if the firm does not make any representations, or the RDC considers that (taking into account the representations) the application should be refused. Firms may then refer matters to the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber). This is an independent judicial body which hears the matter afresh. The Tribunal’s decision will be made public on its website.
- If firms do not refer the matter to the Upper Tribunal, or our decision does not change following the outcome of the tribunal process, we will issue a Final Notice. The decision on whether we publish information about a Decision/Final Notice is taken on a case-by-case basis; subject to that, we usually expect to publish the full Final Notice on our website.