How to apply for authorisation

Whether you’re a consumer credit firm, investment firm or other financial services provider, you should prepare your application well in advance. Here’s a quick guide.

It may take you some time to gather all the information needed for your application. Before getting started, check that the services you intend to carry on are regulated activities that require our authorisation

Consumer credit firms

Investment firms

Collective investment schemes (CIS) must be authorised or recognised by us to be promoted to the general public in the UK.  A UK FCA-authorised CIS (which may also be called a ‘regulated CIS’) must be established in the UK and take one of these legal forms:

  • authorised contractual scheme (ACS)
  • authorised unit trust (AUT)
  • investment company with variable capital (ICVC)

A recognised CIS is a non-UK fund established either in another EEA country or in a non-EEA country. Section 264 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) allows an EEA CIS to be recognised in the UK if it satisfies the requirements made under that section. Section 272 of FSMA allows a non-EEA CIS to be recognised in the UK on an individual basis if it meets the criteria set out in that section.

Unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS) cannot be promoted to the general public in the UK. Promotion of such schemes to retail investors is restricted by the non-mainstream pooled investment (NMPI) regulations. 

Benchmark administrators

The information required depends on the application process type that you will be following (authorisation, registration, recognition and / or endorsement) and the type of benchmarks that you will be administering (critical, significant, non significant, commodity benchmarks, interest rate benchmarks and / or regulated data benchmarks). A checklist is available as part of each application pack.

Other financial services firms

Banks, credit unions and insurance firms are regulated by both us and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The PRA is your single point of contact for the application process.

Non-disclosure of information

It is important that you fully disclose to us any information that we ask for. We take very seriously any non-disclosure of information that could impact our assessment, especially where there is an apparent attempt to mislead.

If in doubt, it is better to disclose information rather than withhold it as the success of your application could be affected if we find out that you have deliberately withheld information or provided false or incomplete information.

Under our Principles for Business that all regulated firms must meet, we make it clear that we expect firms to be open and honest in their dealings with us. Knowingly or recklessly giving us information that is false or misleading can be a criminal offence under section 398 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. 

Our commitments to you

When you apply for authorisation, you need to provide complete and detailed information about your business – for example, its structure, key individuals and financial resources. We offer you 5 commitments in return.

  1. We will tell you as soon as your application has been assigned to a case officer, who will be your single point of contact from then on.
  2. We will acknowledge any communication from you within 2 working days.
  3. We will give a substantive response (or an indication of when this can be expected) to any communication from you within 10 working days.
  4. We will give you clear deadlines if we ask for any information from you.
  5. We will give you an update on the progress of your application at least once a month.

Failure to provide requested information may lead to delays in assessing your application. 

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