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  • Robert Bell

Guidance: How To Complete An Application To The FCA

Completing an FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) application can seem daunting, but by following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your application is submitted correctly and on time.

Understand the application process: Before you begin your application, it is important to understand the requirements and criteria for the specific type of authorisation or registration you are seeking. The FCA website provides detailed information on the different types of permissions and their specific requirements.

Gather necessary documentation: The FCA requires various forms of documentation to support your application, including financial statements, business plans, and information on key personnel. Be sure to have all of these documents ready before starting your application to avoid delays. Be aware, in the past it may have been possible to miss some elements from the application and still have it passed by the FCA fairly smoothly, this is no longer the case. What we see now is the regulator reviewing business plans with great detail, expecting clear information on exactly how your products and services will work, the processes which support these, why they are beneficial for the target market and how you’ll avoid causing harm. Your financials must reflect the business plan.

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Complete the application form: The FCA application form can be found on the FCA website. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and provide all of the information requested. Incomplete or inaccurate applications will delay the process or result in a rejection. It is essential to include all documents associated with each senior manager application as well, such as statements of responsibilities, skills-gap analysis and training plans.

Submit the application: Once you have completed the application form and gathered all necessary documentation, you can submit your application through the FCA's online portal.

Wait for a decision: After submitting your application, the FCA will review your submission and make a decision. This process will take several months and we’ve seen a significant increase in the level of questioning, so be prepared to respond to probing questions surrounding your product and business processes. The FCA will notify you of its decision, and if your application is successful, you will be granted the appropriate authorisation or registration.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your FCA application is submitted correctly and on time. The FCA is a regulatory body and the process is strict to get the authorisation, so it is important to pay attention to details, provide accurate information and be prepared to wait for the decision.

If you’re thinking of applying for FCA authorisation and need to understand more about the process, common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid, you can contact us at:

Those applying for FCA authorisation need to make sure that all the conditions are met first time, and evidence that they’ve embedded all the requirements before the application is submitted. If you’re unfamiliar with the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, understanding what is needed can take time and resource.

We offer a range of materials that help to break down what you need to know. Our Fitness and Propriety Assessment template has helped firms of all sizes to conduct their assessments. Our free SMCR – Are you doing it right? Webinar, explores enforcement the FCA has taken on SMCR, what went wrong and the key steps firms should take to be compliant. With tips on how to avoid breaches this webinar is a fantastic resource for new and established firms alike to assess their compliance with the Regime.


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