How to deal with a transforming FCA: Authorisations and Regulatory Transactions

  • Date: 28 March 2022
  • Format: Recorded Webinar

Series: How to deal with a transforming FCA

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In its 2021/22 Business Plan the FCA provided more detail about its Transformation Programme, recognising a need to make changes internally and promising to make its standards higher with more intensive assessment and greater scrutiny of firms’ financials and business models. Over a series of webinars and focused articles, Compliancy Services will be exploring what these changes at the FCA might mean to how you run and manage your day-to day compliance obligations. Perhaps where we have seen the most evidence of these changes is in the Authorisations Division.
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This Authorisations Division is the ‘gateway’ that processes applications for new firm authorisations, but it also deals with all regulatory transactions including Changes in Control (CiCs), Variations of Permission (VoPs), Appointed Representatives/Agents and Senior Manager appointments. Over the past few months, we have noted a change in the way that the FCA is interacting with clients. For example, the FCA appears to no longer have the appetite to ‘help’ applicants through the process; the expectation is that the application is ‘right first time’. Instead, the FCA is pushing back on poor quality applications earlier and more firmly than they have done previously, suggesting that firms withdraw their application, or be taken down the refusal process. This approach is increasingly being applied to other regulatory transactions (e.g. CiCs and VoPs) so it is not just ‘new’ firms that need to heed the new FCA approach.

This webinar, the first of our series looking at changes within the FCA, will examine and report on the changes at the FCA and offer practical guidance to firms on how best to interact with the FCA to help mitigate the risk of an unsuccessful application.

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Speakers:

Host: Philip Naughton, CEO - Compliancy Services

Presenter: James Borley, Client Director - Payment Services

Agenda

Introduction

  • FCA then and now
  • ‘Authorisations Division’ – what do they cover? 

FCA – Authorisation… where it all begins… 

  • Move to a ‘more robust gateway’
  • How long should it take?
  • Application preparation (pre-submission)
  • ‘Ready willing & organised’ - What does that mean?
  • Threshold Conditions
  • What is a ‘complete’ application?

Main risk areas

  • Governance
  • Business model
  • AML/financial crime
  • Prudential
  • FCA’s due diligence

Regulatory transactions

  • VoPs – just because you are already authorised, doesn’t mean a smoother ride
  • CiCs –focus both on ‘prudential’ matters and fitness and propriety of controllers
  • Appointed Representatives/Agents – governance and oversight
  • SMF applications – what ‘knowledge and experience’ is acceptable‘

Decision-making - Approve or Refuse – and shades in between

  • Refusal process – ‘minded to refuse’ and appealing a Warning Notice
  • Allocation delays at FCA – subject to change (+ or -)
  • Putting it all together

Panel discussion / Q&A

  • Panelist: Kumar Ved, Managing Director of Consulting - Compliancy Services
  • Panelist: Ben Antcliffe, Senior Consultant - Consumer Credit & Lending
  • Panelist: Will Khammo, Senior Consultant - Insurance

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