FCA reminds firms to regularly review regulatory permissions

We are reminding firms of their obligation to regularly review regulatory permissions to ensure they are up to date and removed where they are not needed. We expect firms to notify us of material changes and apply to make any necessary changes in a timely way. Please note that we have the power to cancel a firm’s Part 4A permission if it has not carried on a regulated activity for at least 12 months.

What action you need to take

If you have a Part 4A permission, but have not carried on any regulated activities for 12 months or more and have no current plans to do so, please apply for cancellation using Connect.

If you have a Part 4A permission and have not used and no longer need some of the permissions, please apply to remove the permissions you no longer need by completing and submitting a Variation of Permission application using Connect

Why it’s important to you

Reviewing your permissions - and maintaining only those you need - helps to assure you that you will continue to meet the threshold conditions, are demonstrating effective oversight of your business, meet your obligations under the Senior Managers Regime and are providing accurate information to consumers. You are required to provide us with an annual attestation that the information held on the Financial Services Register is accurate. This also means you do not pay unnecessary fees for unused or out of date permissions. 

Why’s it important for the market and consumers

The Financial Services Register is a valuable source of information for consumers and firms. It enables users to find out the regulatory status of firms and individuals that are authorised/approved by us. Incorrect or outdated permissions increase the risk of harm to consumers. Inaccurate information about firms’ permissions can mislead consumers about the level of protection offered or give credibility to unregulated activities – so it is important the Register is kept up to date. 

Why we are reminding you now

New powers in the Financial Services Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament, mean we will be able to act more quickly where we consider firms are no longer carrying out regulated activities. 

With the new powers, where we believe that a firm is not carrying on a regulated activity, we will be able to serve notice on the firm, asking for a written response within 14 days. If the firm does not respond we will be able to publish a second, public notice, explaining it appears that the firm is not carrying on a regulated activity. We can then vary or cancel the firm’s permissions after 1 month.

Firms must act now to review existing permissions and make any necessary changes to ensure that you present a clear picture of what you do, and help us prevent scams and misleading information.