Firms that want to carry on regulated activities such as consumer credit lending or credit brokerage must firstly apply for FCA authorisation.
The Financial Conduct Authority’s aim is to ensure that firms are well run by fit and proper persons and have appropriate business models. All firms have to demonstrate that they meet, and will continue to meet, the minimum standards to become authorised – known as our threshold conditions.
The FCA has produced a Guide for consumer credit firms on being regulated by the FCA which is a good starting point for insight into the FCA’s regime and the authorisation process. They also have specific consumer credit pages on their website.
If you decide to apply for authorisation you will need to this using the FCA’s Connect system. You can watch a video on how to sign up to Connect via the FCA’s website (http://play.buto.tv/NT8Xd) and on how to use the system (http://play.buto.tv/23skr).
Once submitted the FCA will review your application and make a decision on complete applications within six months. If your application is considered incomplete the decision may take 12 months, and occasionally a little longer.
It is likely that you will be allocated a Case Worker who will review your application and contact you with any follow-up questions.
In order to assist our members with FCA compliance, we have produced a number of free documents, which are accessible via the members’ only section of our website. These includes:
Sometimes firms want a little more help with their application. We can provide additional support in the form of template documents and consultancy.
Members can also purchase the following documents:
Our guide to FCA Authorisation – This contains a step-by-step guide to the FCA Authorisation Application Form and explains the types of things you should include in your business plan.
FCA Key Compliance Requirements – This is a comprehensive document which explains how to meet the FCA’s ongoing compliance requirements including Treating Customers Fairly, Monitoring, Reporting etc.
Which are modestly charged at £75* each or £125* for both.
We may also be interested in the following template documents:
Template Conflict of Interest Policy £25*
Template Business Continuity Plan £75*
Template Whistleblowing Policy £25*
Template Financial Promotions Policy £75*
Template Data Protection Policy £75*
In the past we have worked as consultants to firms, at discounted rates to help with the development of regulatory business plans, or the review of websites and financial promotions. Please get in contact with us to discuss how we can help you with your application.
We also offer members comprehensive training and the opportunity to purchase credit agreements at a BCCA discounted rate.
*All costs are shown ex VAT