How to apply for a waiver or modification of Handbook rules.
Anyone wishing to apply for a waiver should register with Connect and submit an application via the Connect portal. You may find it useful to talk about your application with your supervisory contact at the FCA.
Apply to the FCA or Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
We expect to see all waiver applications from FCA-regulated firms and FCA-regulated firms in a PRA group. We only expect to see applications from dual-regulated firms when they relate to either an FCA-only or a shared rule (ie the rule affects both Conduct and Prudential).
Solo-regulated firms apply to us when seeking national discretions; dual-regulated firms should apply to the PRA. The PRA has further information on its waiver and modification applications.
If two firms are linked and offer the same product, they will need a Direction for each authorised firm.
CRR permissions are applied for through the CRR permission form which can be found within the Connect Portal.
Applications are not automatically granted. Each application is assessed on its merits. Following our guidelines and suggestions will make sure you present the best possible case. But remember that not all rules can be waived or modified (eg rules derived from European Directives).
If we decide to grant your application, we may attach conditions or requirements, such as extra reporting.
A waiver or modification will not apply retrospectively.
What you must demonstrate
We will consider granting a waiver if you can demonstrate that:
- complying with the rule would be unduly burdensome or would not achieve its purpose
- the waiver would not adversely affect any of our operational objectives:
- secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers
- protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system, and
- promote effective competition in the interests of consumers
Guidelines for applications
We find it helpful for firms to provide the following information, which will aid speedy processing:
- a list of all the entities which require the waiver/modification, including any PRA regulated firms
- details of the FCA rules that the application is seeking to waive/modify
- details of the applicable precedent waiver/modification Directions found on the Financial Services Register.
- details about the reasons for the waiver/modification
- detailed responses regarding the statutory tests in FSMA 138A
- confirmation that the firm is content for the waiver/modification to be published on the Financial Services Register if approved, and if not, an explanation of why it would be inappropriate to do so, addressing the requirements set out in FSMA 138B
- important timelines
The specific guidelines below will help you in common matters arising when applying for a waiver or modification. They are not intended to be exhaustive or guarantee an application will be approved.