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FCA Authorisation and Harry Potter – Guaranteed Results?

FCA AuthorisationFCA Authorisation?: It may seem a little trite to compare submitting an authorisation to a magic trick, however, many firms do just that. If you are under any kind of impression that less-than-perfect preparation suffices, listen up people; it will take more than a wave of a magic wand to convince the FCA to authorise or re-authorise your firm.

As a member of the authorisations and Registrations working group for our trade body, we get to hear first hand what the regulator is experiencing and what they will expect.

“As a Consultancy, we earn a good third to a half more by helping firms that have ‘gone it alone‘ and submitted their own applications. These are often incomplete, poorly constructed and in many cases inadequate. Often the firms will use words and phrases that are seen as inflammatory to the regulator. We can help firms avoid that pain and time delay, as well as cost, by packaging things properly with the maximum chance of success.”
Lee Werrell Chartered FCSI FISM
Owner – Compliance Consultant 

If your FCA Authorisation has been cancelled or suspended, you need professional assistance to recover it, or continued trading will be illegal under Sect 19 FSMA.



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Your previous activities whilst authorised will be taken into consideration.

Sarah Rapson, director of authorisations at the FCA said that, “We have begun to take a harder line on submissions that border on the vexatious.”

Needless to say, it’s hard to identify what others identify as vexatious. Perhaps just about anything from slightly troublesome to properly annoying or downright infuriating. If indeed there’s a scale at all! 
Thankfully, the FCA has certainly provided us a number of clues. FCA Authorisation
When examining an application, your case officer is ultimately taking into account three things.
To begin with, they look for evidence of what you’ve carried out when preparing your application. So they like to know details like whether you’ve read the facts on the FCA website, made enquiries of the contact centre, or asked for legal or professional compliance advice. They also evaluate your application on how accurately you’re able to articulate your regulatory obligations.
Secondly, they take into account your attitude during the application process. (I’m sure they didn’t mean that to sound quite the way it does). They evaluate whether you’re being open and honest with them and positive about getting details for them. They also need to see that you comprehend your regulatory obligations and react promptly to any questions they have about your application.
Finally, they want to be sure you have your supporting documentation ready and arrangements in position to comply from the first day you become authorised. So they keep in mind why you’re applying now, what’s still outstanding that would prevent you from doing whatever you’ve made an application for, and whether you would have the ability to do that activity if you were authorised right away.
You need to successfully pass all three of these ‘tests’. It’s insufficient, for instance, being willing to correct mistakes or gaps in your application if you fell at the first hurdle. Quite clearly, they ‘d find this vexing!
FCA Authorisation
“We will move to refuse firms earlier on in the authorisation process where the firm is not ‘ready, willing and organised’ to operate in the regulated financial services market,” Rapson has said.
And those are the magic words: ready, willing and organised. From the day they receive your application, and over the course of the process, they want to be sure you’re ready, willing and organised to comply with the rules and requirements at all times.
Lee Werrell Chartered FCSI FISM
Compliance Doctor


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