Variation of permission

If your firm wants to change or add to its regulated activities, find out how you can apply to us for a variation of permission (VoP).

Please read this page in full so that you're clear about our requirements, and to avoid delaying your application.

Your firm cannot start the activities you've requested until we approve your application. If you do, this is a breach of our rules and we can take enforcement action.

When to apply

Only authorised firms can apply for VoPs.

Your firm’s scope of permission should accurately show the activities it carries out.

You should review your current permissions on our Financial Services Register and decide whether you need to vary a permission if you want to:

  • start a new line of business
  • start a new regulated activity
  • add a new product or client type to your business line

If your firm is subject to the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA), you can read more about the Part 4A requirements for VoPs.

If your firm is regulated or dual-regulated by us, and you want to add any of these activities:

  • accepting deposits
  • effecting contracts of insurance
  • carrying out a contract of insurance

please apply for a VoP through the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

Before you apply

You must use Connect to apply for a VoP.

In rare circumstances, if you're not able to apply on Connect we accept paper submissions. For example, if you wish to bid in emissions auctions you should submit a Bidding in Emissions Auctions paper application.

Things to consider

If your firm stops a business line or wants to vary, reduce or restrict the scope of its permission, consider whether you should:

  • remove the regulated activity in question
  • change the client or product/investment types
  • add or delete a limitation or requirement

Also bear in mind that:

  • by increasing or reducing the scope of your permission, your firm's annual fees may change
  • your firm's financial category, financial resource requirement and reporting requirements may change to reflect the new permission scope

Application fee

Your fee will depend on the change of scope to your firm’s regulated business.

You must pay this fee before we start to process your application, and it's non-refundable.

Scenario Application fee
If your firm remains in the same fee block after varying its permission Category 2
If your firm moves into a new fee block after varying its permission 50% of the fee for a new firm application for that fee block
If your firm moves into more than one new fee-block after varying its permission The higher of any relevant fees
If your firm is maintaining or decreasing its scope of permissions No application fee

How to pay

When you apply on Connect, you'll need to pay by credit or debit card.  

If you're sending us a paper application, we can accept payment by:

  • credit or debit card – your case officer will contact you to arrange payment
  • cheque − made payable to the 'Financial Conduct Authority', with your firm name and 6 digit firm reference number on the back

After you apply


We'll confirm we've received your application

You'll get an automatic email from Connect


We'll assign you a case officer

They'll be in touch, and may ask you for more information


We'll make a decision on your application

How long this takes can vary

How we process applications and how long it may take

We process most applications and make decisions well within FSMA’s standards – this will be the earlier of:

  • 6 months from when we decide that the application is complete
  • 12 months of receiving an incomplete application (missing documents or information)

Other, non-FSMA regimes may have different statutory deadlines.

Tell us about any relevant dates and we'll try to meet them – but leave plenty of time for us to assess your application. We'll let you know when we approve your application.

We'll send you a warning notice and/or let you know if we're going to:

  • reject or refuse your application
  • impose other requirements
  • make other changes that you've not agreed to

We'll also tell you how you can appeal against any decision we make.

If you want to withdraw your application

If we haven't made a decision on your application yet and you want to withdraw it, please let us know by writing to your case officer.

If you haven't been assigned a case officer yet, please contact us.

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