Our approach to international firms

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Our Approach to International Firms

We set out how we assess international firms providing, or seeking to provide, financial services that require authorisation in the UK.

Our Approach to International Firms (PDF)

We want international firms that need authorisation to understand our approach and expectations.

In the approach document, we set out the factors we will consider when we assess international firms against minimum standards, which will be relevant when they apply for authorisation and when we supervise them.  We also set out the circumstances in which international firms could present higher risks of harm and how those risks might be mitigated.

The document should help international firms understand our expectations and how to manage risks appropriately when providing regulated financial services in the UK.

In the accompanying feedback statement, we set out the main responses we received from stakeholders to our consultation (CP20/20). We provide more clarity where appropriate and respond to comments raised. We also explain where we have amended the approach following the consultation.

Who this applies to

This approach is for international firms that:

  • intend to apply for authorisation in the UK
  • have applied for authorisation in the UK
  • are already authorised in the UK


Many international firms provide services in the UK, making an important contribution to UK financial services, and we are committed to maintaining open and vibrant markets.

With more international firms expected to be looking to become authorised in the UK, we think it is helpful to set out how we approach authorising and supervising them.

The approach document sets out what we take into account so these firms can ensure they meet our expectations when they provide financial services to UK consumers and businesses.

In September 2020, we consulted on our approach to international firms (CP20/20). We have considered the responses when preparing the approach document and the feedback statement.  

Firms that are also regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) may wish to refer to the relevant publications from the PRA.