Get Your FCA Application Right! Looking to get FCA Authorised or Registered? Too many firms fail or get blacklisted because of simple mistakes. They don’t follow the process correctly or misunderstand the (complex) rules.
The UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has seen a huge year-on-year rise in cases of companies and individuals which appeared to be carrying out regulated business without its authorisation. The annual accounts and reports for 2020/2021 showed that it issued 1,292 consumer alerts during the year, up 80 per cent from 2019/20. These firms need to be authorised or registered.
Why can’t they apply to be authorised, Is it worth the risk to operate illegally? What is needed for fca authorisation for firms?
Often, they have tried and failed due to poor preparation. The FCA crackdown on sloppy authorisations from 2021, not just restricted to the cryptocurrency markets, will require many firms to review their infrastructure, operations, and capacity to deal with increasingly strict standards, not limited to Anti-Money Laundering checks.
Payment Services Firms (PSD2) are experiencing exceptional scrutiny pre and post authorisation for not only Operational Risks, Data Security, Money Flow and Safeguarding Accounts, but also their Winding Down plans.
Applicant Firm’s Senior Managers or owners often have telephone interviews, but they fail this test as they are unprepared on what may be asked and why.
What do firms get wrong?
- Failure to respond in a timely manner
- Misunderstanding the Regulatory Environment
- What Financial Crime means to their business
- The Basics of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Funding
- What elements of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) impacts them
- How to identify and measure Conduct Risks and who to then apply the FCA’s Code of Conduct rules
- Knowing and assessing what business and compliance risks are within their firm and how to mitigate them
- submitting generic compliance procedure documents and a generic compliance monitoring programme showing lack of originality.
So How Do You Deal With All These Challenges?
You can find a consultancy (there are many) who will charge you for their services.
So many websites will tell you what to get ready, what the FCA will want to see and all the elements needed to make an application.
Some will charge a small amount and then add on every extra part you need.
Some will charge you a lot and take over your business, creating their style of what “they think” you need.
Sounds Good, doesn’t it? Er…. Yes is the wrong answer – WHY?
When you get to any interview, you won’t understand what has been created for you, and you won’t be able to express how your business works, according to the Business Plan.
What you say in words, in text on the application may tick all the boxes, but if you haven’t been engaged in the process, if you don’t understand how it all fits together, you will sound false and your credibility will drain away.
The upshot of just getting a “completions” service is that YOU CAN STILL FAIL at many points, or get rejected, despite having EVERYTHING CORRECTLY COMPLETED if you are not ready, willing and organised. That is why we are different and how we explode your chances of authorisation, off the scale!
So, what are the benefits of our service?
We make sure you have the right information, we;
- EXPLAIN the authorisation timescales and events.
- CREATE all the policies and logs you need for authorisation.
- PROVIDE a FREE SERVICE to answer any queries before and after submission.
- WORK with you to ensure you have all you need and none of what you don’t.
- ASSESS and work with you to create the key “Annual Compliance Monitoring Plan”.
- MAKE sure you understand the regulatory environment and what the FCA stands for.
- STOP you from getting things wrong or misunderstanding things at this core stage.
- HELP you identify, develop and mitigate the three main risk areas you need to demonstrate.
- COACH you on the SIX MAIN areas of interview and the FIVE KEY PERSONAL areas you need to be prepared for.
Additional Documentation for Supporting
- The Business Plan
Collation of the entire extra document needed for the application to be complete, we will project manage the process for you, or deal with your internal project/compliance manager to ensure everything is obtained.
- Personnel Material
We collate and assess the CVs of all concerned. A simple CV covering the last 10 years with name of employer, job title, dates you worked there (from and to) and list of your responsibilities at the firm is fine. Include all qualifications and professional courses attended as this will help demonstrate your competence and capability.
Training Material on Introduction to FCA Regulation, FCA Code of Conduct (COCON) Financial Crime and Digital Client Onboarding Training.
We provide you with PDFs of genuine and contemporary PowerPoint Slides for your own instruction. These are slides used in our normal training sessions.
- Governance – Policies & Procedures
All policies and required procedures, logs/registers you need to get authorisation (typically around 10-12) or upgrade the ones you already have. Business Plan Workshops
We will conduct two “Online” workshops up to 2 hours each, covering the 5 main elements with you so you can develop the best business plan to demonstrate you business concept, model, execution, including our 22 point template helping you achieve ultimate success.
- Customer Journey
We will conduct an “Online” workshop up to one hour, covering the 9 main points of this key element. With our help you can develop the customer journey to demonstrate you business then flows correctly and all external impacts are taken into account, saving you time post submission, explaining everything again.
- Risk Assessment
We will conduct an “Online” workshop with you so you can develop the business risks you face in the three critical areas, and the four stage improvement and risk mitigation framework, so you will understand how they relate and can demonstrate you business then flows correctly and ultimately be compliant.
- Compliance Monitoring
We will conduct an “Online” workshop of up to 2 hours with you so you can develop the ‘Annual Compliance Monitoring Plan’ including the 14 main regulatory areas and any monitoring “triggers” that are relevant to your business and help you understand how they relate to the FCA requirements so you can manage the business without interruption. Including our template.
- Q&A Facility
So often when a new authorisation or registration is required, there are many areas that you may not fully understand, as well as the regulator wording being a cross between English, legislation and regulation. We solve that issue by providing an email response service, so not only do we answer your query, but you have it in writing to explain to your team if necessary.
- Form Completion
A common mistake is using out of date forms or the wrong forms for your sector. We obtain the correct forms and complete them with your information and make sure that any text explanations do not confuse or irritate the regulator, as explained above.
- Upload Your Application
Uploading the application can be a nightmare when using the FCA Connect system. We upload and keep a copy of the documents provided.
- Post Submission Senior Management Training – What to expect on a telephone interview.
Final workshop is up to 1 hour on the 6 main areas of an FCA interview and the 5 key personal areas as an FCA authorised person, you need to be prepared for.
- Download: FCA Authorisation the basic process
- Read: FCA Authorisation, Registration, Certification or Licencing
A bit more about us…
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