Today, in the United Kingdom, almost all financial service activities are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Only a few selected financial services activities are exempted from this process. FCA authorisation requires an official application, which usually takes up to 6 months or even more.
In the rest of this post, you’ll discover the answers to the following questions: what exactly is FCA authorisation and how does it work? Is Financial Conduct Authority authorisation important for your business? Which firms are exempted from this authorisation? Why should you trust MEMA Consultants for the application of your FCA authorisation?
How exactly does FCA authorisation work?
“FCA” is an acronym for Financial Conduct Authority. As the name suggests, the FCA is a body designed to regulate all financial services in the United Kingdom. The primary aim of this organisation is to help increase market integrity. In addition, the FCA is responsible for protecting customers from different financial-related issues. It also helps to promote healthy competition, thereby enabling customers to get the best services at the right prices.
For an organisation to increase market integrity and protect customers, it needs to put the right measures in place. One good measure employed by the FCA is the authorisation of financial firms.
FCA authorisation helps the Financial Conduct Authority to better supervise concerned financial firms. This organisation has certain rules, procedures, and FCA regulations, which almost all financial services providers in the UK need to follow. This makes it easy for the organisation to improve market integrity and promote healthy competition for customers.
Is FCA authorisation right for your business?
As earlier mentioned, the FCA authorisation is essential for almost all financial services providers in the United Kingdom. Only a few of these institutions are exempted from this authorisation process. This begs the question; is FCA authorisation right for your brand?
The simple and direct answer is yes; you certainly need to be authorised by the FCA as long as you run one more financial service in the UK.
But what does it mean to engage in financial services in the United Kingdom?
According to the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2000, “engaging in financial services” means you carry out certain activities that relate to certain instruments. These specified activities include running insurance firm & payment services, accepting deposits, running various investment & mortgage activities, and customer credit regulated services.
- Is your business focused on delivering payment and deposit services?
- Does your brand run investment activities and mortgage services?
- Is your firm an insurance company?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you surely need FCA authorisation. You can’t carry out any of the above-mentioned services without duly being authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. It’s a criminal offence under FSMA to run these services without the right authorisation.
FCA authorisation is not straightforward
As essential as the FCA authorisation is, you need to understand that it’s not a straightforward process. If done well; this process should take you roughly 6 months to reach completion. However, you need to understand that the process can also take years if care is not taken. To avoid unnecessary delays, it’s usually advisable to hire the right financial consultant when preparing for your FCA authorisation.
Today, MEMA Consultants is one of the most reliable consultants you can hire for your brand’s authorisation needs. We specialise in delivering various FCA-related services, including FCA authorisation, registration, FCA business plans, and compliance consultants. You can speak to our appointed representative FCA to learn more about how to get started with your authorization process.