It might seem worn-out, to compare applying for authorisation to a magic trick, However if you’re under any false impression that less-than-perfect preparation is good enough, listen.
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.”
Obviously, it’s hard to identify what others consider to be vexatious. Perhaps everything from slightly annoying to thoroughly annoying or absolutely exasperating. If indeed there’s a scale at all!
The good thing is, the FCA has actually presented us a few clues.
When examining an application, your case officer is primarily taking into account three things.
First off, they try to find indications of what you’ve undertaken when preparing your application. So they would like to know points like whether or not you’ve read the information and facts on the FCA website, made enquiries of the contact centre, or pursued legal or professional compliance advice. They also determine your application on how clearly you’re able to articulate your regulatory obligations.
Secondly, they regard your attitude during the application process. (I’m sure they didn’t mean that to sound quite the way it does). They determine whether you’re being open and completely honest with them and practical about acquiring information for them. They also need to see that you understand your regulatory obligations and answer swiftly to any questions they have about your application.
Finally, they really want to make sure you have your supporting documentation prepared and arrangements readily available to comply from the first day you become authorised. So they take into consideration 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 be able to do that activity if you were authorised straightaway.
You need to successfully pass all three of these ‘tests’. It’s not enough, for example, to be happy to correct mistakes or gaps in your application if you fell at the first hurdle. Quite clearly, they ‘d find this vexing!
“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 through the process, they want to be sure you’re ready, willing and organised to abide by the rules and requirements at all times.
Lee Werrell Chartered FCSI