Apply for a waiver or modification

Find out how to apply to us for a waiver or modification of Handbook rules.

You'll need to use our Connect system to submit all:

  • waiver applications
  • MIFIDPRU permission applications
  • Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) applications

Please make sure you register with Connect.

We make an exception for modifications by consent. These allow you to notify us that you're taking advantage of a modification, instead of completing an application form.

Before you apply

First determine whether you need to apply to us or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which also grants waivers and modifications.

If you're not sure which authority to apply to, check the PRA Handbook and our Handbook.

We don't automatically grant applications – we assess each one on its own merits. Follow our suggestions below to give your application the best chance of success, but remember that not all rules can be waived or modified. 

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.

Bear in mind that our guidance can't cover every possible scenario. There may be additional factors that your firm needs to consider. You may also find it useful to talk about your application with your FCA supervisory contact.

What to read

First, read our page on being ready, willing and organised which explains our expectations of applicants.

Then read the following pages if relevant to your type of application:

Consumer Duty

Our Consumer Duty sets higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services and requires firms to put their customers’ needs first.

We will only approve your application if it doesn't interfere with these standards.

Preparing your application

On the online application form in Connect, you must state which waiver or modification you're applying for and why, and whether any precedents apply.

Please refer to our consolidated list of granted waivers.

You will need to explain how:

  • complying with the rule would be unduly burdensome or not achieve its purpose
  • granting a waiver will not adversely affect our 3 objectives to protect consumers, enhance market integrity and promote competition

Provide evidence to support your application. You may want to review our Handbook, and the Financial Services Markets Act (FSMA).

Consider and confirm whether the firm would be content for the waiver/modification to be published on the Financial Services Register if approved, and if not, explain why it would be inappropriate, addressing the requirements set out in FSMA 138B.

If you need a decision by a specific date

Please make this clear in the application and submit it well before the deadline to allow us time to assess it.

Note that it might not be possible for us to meet your deadline, for example if it's a complex application.

Avoid delays to your application

Remember to complete all sections of the relevant forms and respond to us within the requested timescales.

If you're requesting a rule modification, please supply the proposed wording.

After you apply

We'll let you know when we've received your application, and may ask you for more information.

If we ask for more information and you don't respond to us within 20 business days, we'll treat your application as withdrawn (unless you've told us by other means that you intend to pursue your application).

If we approve a waiver or modification

We'll issue a direction that sets out:

  • how the rule has been waived or modified
  • who the direction covers
  • the period of its validity
  • any conditions, such as reporting requirements

Most waivers and modifications are granted for a set period and then cease to apply. At this stage, a new application is required.

We publish all approved waivers and permission notices unless we consider it inappropriate or unnecessary.

If we reject your application

We'll explain why – often it's because we don't receive the minimum information requested. You are welcome to resubmit your application, containing all the relevant information, at any time.

If you want to withdraw your application

Please contact your case officer.

Page updates

: Information changed Online application form updated
: Editorial amendment Updates to page features for website refresh.
: Information added MiFID PRU Permission applications