Details for Applying to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Financial services are one of the primary services provided by many firms and individuals. However, it is safe to say that not all firms offer you legitimate and genuine services. Other than this, there had been a strong requirement for an organization such as the FCA in the UK. The organization’s main aim is to provide authorization to businesses and individuals who want to set up a business for providing financial products and services to the consumers.
This body, preceded by FSA, is a financial regulatory body that oversees the conduct of various firms, businesses, and individuals that offer financial services to consumers. This regulatory body works independently, as in it does not answer to the government of UK. The body is funded by the fees it charges from the various businesses and from other members of the financial industry.
FCA was preceded by FSA, and it replaces its predecessor. Just as its predecessor, FCA is also limited by guarantee. The main objective of the FCA is to regulate the conduct of both retail and wholesale financial services.
Brief History and Powers of the FCA
The Financial Services Act 2012 gained royal assent on 19th December 2012 and came into force by April of the next year. This act created a new regulatory framework for the financial services and regulation of conduct for the same in the country. There were many new authorities given to existing institutions and some new authorities added, as is the case with FCA.
The FCA is empowered to the following:
- The organization has the power to regulate the market products relating to financial services.
- The FCA has to power to provide new standards for products and minimum requirements for the said products.
- The organization has the power to investigate various individuals and firms, as it may please provided they have a reason for conducting an investigation.
- The organization has the right to put a ban on products as it may seem fit for a year or for an indefinite period of time.
- Other than this, the organization can ask a firm or individual, dealing in financial services and products, to modify, rectify or eliminate such claims and offers as well as products that are misleading and to publish the same.
The above-mentioned points are the powers that FCA has the right to impose and work on. However, these powers have been criticised and questioned. But the fact of the matter that still persists is that this organization was established to help out the consumers and to keep them safe from malpractices.
Regulated financial activities
There are many financial services that fall under the regulated services; here are some of the most important ones. These are all specified by the treasury.
- Accepting deposits,
- Creating, running or closing collective schemes of investments,
- Collective investment scheme units
- Lloyd’s syndicates
- Loans secured on land or any other accommodating establishments
- Dealing in securities, futures, and options
- Arranging investment deals
- Dealing in investments and or offering or agreeing to do so,
- Computer or web-based investment transactions.
Activities for Consumer credit
The FCA covers and oversees the following as well:
- Issuing trading checks or credit cards
- Offering hire Purchase terms
- Collection of debts
- Advise or help offered to people dealing with financial problems
- Offering the hire or lease of goods for more than 3 months
- Selling on credit
- Lending money
What does Applying to FCA Include?
With the above-mentioned points in mind, it must be remembered that the procedure for application for every business is different. The application is not the same for everyone. Here is what the process of the application includes:
- The Type of Business You must know the type of business you are engaged in. The application procedure will depend on the nature of your business only.
- Where to apply for FCA authorisation? If you intend to get FCA authorization for your business or firm, you will have to apply to FCA directly. As per the FCA regulatory officers, the entire authorization procedure takes about 6 months to complete. Also, if your firm is dually authorised, then you will also need to apply to the PRA as well. Other than this, if the application is not completed on time or there are delays on your end, the entire procedure may stretch up to 12 months. A fee for authorization application is applicable.
- Appointed Representatives Appointed representatives are the people or organization an authorized entity gives authority to work or provide services on their behalf. Here the relation between the authorized representative and the company is that of principal and agent. The principal, i.e. the authorized organization or entity, will take full responsibility of the agent and the work done by their authorized agents in full and will take over all the liabilities of the said agent.
- Responsibilities of an authorised firm An authorized firm or company means that the company or the organization is registered with FCA. This entity will have to comply with all rules and regulations as provided by FCA and will have to meet minimum threshold as specified by the organization every year. The business, organization or the entity will have to pay a fee for every year to remain to be a registered firm with the FCA.
- Request direct support In case of any problems faced by the applicants and any other person who is trying to get a registration and authorization then you can get in touch with the FCA and their helpdesk. The helpdesk will walk you through the entire process of filling out the form and will allow you to get authorization as soon as possible.
- The change can be done by writing an application to the FCA.
- For details, in the elaborate sense, you can refer to SUP 11 in the Handbook or FSMA section 191D for full details.
- Notification for a change in control should be given in due time to the FCA. This is governed by the section 178, and it states that the firm should send a notice as soon as they decide to change control.
- Furthermore, FCA states that it is a criminal offense to work with changes in control without notifying FCA first.
- Documents should be sent by controller or controllers of the firm or the business.
- The firms should send their notices in the required manner as specified by the FCA and if there is any confusion, the individual or the firm can go through the FCA’s website and get all the details for doing so.
Change in Control?
If a registered person or firm wishes to make a change in the control or over the control they have already authorized, there is a way to do so with the help of FCA. Here is how to do it:
There are many other changes, such as a change in permissions and other things, that offer can be made later on. The fees for such services will be charged as per the nature of your firm’s business and will be provided only when you apply for changes. Furthermore, you should remember to submit only true and fair documents that will aid in a speedy authorization.
Apart from this, whenever you need a change in your powers or controls or any other matter, remember that you will have to send a notice to the FCA first. Other than this, you will have to specify your desires and attach a valid proof of funding and any other documents as may be asked by the regulatory body.
Furthermore, while writing the application, it must be remembered that the procedure will move forward only when a registered business’ controller or jointly working controllers sign on the document to authorize the same.
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