The Difference Between FCA Authorisation and Being an AR

  • Posted on: 29 November 2021
  • Written by: Kumar Ved

In the UK, nearly all financial service activities must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There are two main routes that firms can take in order to achieve authorisation, they can get directly authorised, or, they can seek to become an Appointed Representative (AR). An AR is a firm or person who runs a limited number of regulated activities and acts as an agent for a firm directly authorised by the FCA. This firm is known as the AR's Principal. There are various differences between being directly authorised and acting as an AR and some firms will find they are more suited to one route rather than the other. 

This factsheet comments on the differences between these two routes and explains the key areas for consideration when deciding whether to seek full authorisation or become an AR.

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