The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the body responsible for the regulation of all financial services in the UK. The FCA aims to protect consumers, protect financial markets and promote healthy competition. It does this through the authorisation and supervision of firms in relation to the rules established in the FCA handbook and by taking enforcement action against those firms that breach these rules.
Any firm carrying out a regulated activity in the UK must be authorised by the FCA. Once authorised, there are minimum standards and capital requirements that businesses must meet at all times. If a business fails to meet these standards then the FCA can deny, vary or cancel your permissions.
Which firms need to be authorised?
Generally, if you are engaged in financial services in or from the UK then you will require FCA authorisation. Under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), a person carrying out a regulated activity relating to a specified instrument requires FCA authorisation and if the firm is not authorised and provides these services you may be committing a criminal offence under FSMA.
If you are unsure whether your business activities require FCA authorisation, Effecta can help you understand your regulatory obligations.
Before applying to the FCA an applicant must ensure they are “Ready, Willing and Organised”. This means the detail included in the business plan and the application itself are well thought through and clearly explained and that the applicant has designed the right system and controls and identified the required resources.
How Can Effecta assist you?
Effecta’s compliance consultants have extensive experience in assisting firms with obtaining a regulatory license suitable for their business and can project manage your application in an extremely efficient manner. In order to do this as effectively as possible, Effecta will nominate a consultant (the “Nominated Consultant”) to act as your project manager for the application process. The Nominated Consultant will have appropriate experience and expertise and will be supported by the project team and will provide a project plan detailing all the steps required and estimated timeframes to complete the entire application project and who is responsible for delivering each element of the project plan and key milestones. The project plan will be updated on a continuous basis and you will be able to access this information at any time to assess the progress that has been made on your FCA application project.
Specifically Effecta can:
- Discuss the license required
- Liaise with the FCA
- Advise on a review of the Firm’s Regulatory Business Plan (“RBP”)
- Complete the regulatory application forms
- Prepare the essential compliance documentation
- Draft the applicants ICARA
Once authorised Effecta can also assist the Firm with its ongoing compliance requirements.