Our authorisation process

What to expect after you submit to us your application for authorisation.

We will make a decision on complete applications within 6 months. If your application is incomplete, we must make a decision within 12 months.

Application process

You should We will
  • Send us your completed application form and appropriate fee.
  • Offer your case officer more information, clarification and/or evidence, as requested. You may be required to meet your case officer.
  • Assess your application in line with our commitments to you, such as letting you know when a case officer has been assigned and keeping you up to date.
  • Check your application against various databases and information held by other regulatory agencies in the UK or overseas.
  • Assess your business, considering whether it meets the minimum ‘threshold conditions’ in our Handbook.
  • Make a decision on your application.

Find out more about the application process and our commitments

Successful application

We’ll write to you confirming your ‘Part 4A permission’ authorisation. Your Scope of Permission notice will state which regulated activities you have permission to carry out, when your permission starts and which requirements or limitations you’ve requested.

Upon authorisation, our Financial Services Register will be updated automatically.

Unsuccessful application

If we do not consider your application meets the standard for authorisation, we will recommend to a senior FCA committee that it is refused. If they agree, you will be sent a warning notice stating that the FCA is proposing to refuse to authorise you and explaining why. At this point, we’ll tell you how you can go on to make representations before the FCA makes its final decision.

A submission for authorisation under Part 4A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (‘FSMA’) may be rejected. You must provide the minimum information set out under section 55U of FSMA. If your application is rejected, we will give the reason(s) and your application fee will be refunded. You are welcome to resubmit an application, containing all the relevant information, at any time.

Please, see How to apply for an authorisation for further information.

Withdrawing an application

You can withdraw your application at any time during the authorisation process. Common reasons for doing this include:

  • not having all the information we require and so deciding to resubmit an application later
  • unintentionally delaying responses to our questions with the result that we miss our legal deadlines
  • understanding that authorisation is likely to be refused

Unfortunately, we cannot refund your application fee in any of these circumstances.

Subsequent applications

It’s possible to make a successful subsequent application after an application has been withdrawn.

More information