Firms that need authorisation

Here you can check whether you’re the type of firm that needs to be authorised by us and, if you are, what to do next.

We are bound by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) to regulate certain financial activities. You’ll probably need to be authorised by us if you’re a financial services firm carrying on regulated activities, or if you’re a firm offering loans, car financing deals or other consumer credit.

Authorisation vs registration

Depending on the financial activities you carry on, you’ll either have to be authorised or registered with us – or, in some cases, be both authorised and registered.

Registration involves sending us less information about your business than authorisation.

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.

How to apply

Consumer credit firms

If you’re a consumer credit firm carrying on regulated financial activities such as credit broking and consumer lending, you’ll have to apply to us for either limited or full permission.

How to apply

Investment firms

If you’re an investment firm carrying on certain activities in relation to financial instruments such as shares and bonds, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) requires you to be authorised by us.

How to apply

Benchmark administrators

Under the EU Benchmarks Regulation, benchmark administrators can be authorised or registered.

See a flow chart to decide whether you should be authorised or registered

How to apply

Payment services and e-money firms

If you offer people payment accounts, pre-paid cards or other such financial services, you may need to be authorised or registered with us – or both authorised and registered.

How to apply

Innovative firms

Detailed information

See a list of regulated activities

If you’re an investment firm, find out how MiFID II could affect you

Read the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

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