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According to provisions made under the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2000, financial activities have to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Any firm (whether a business, a not-for-profit or a sole trader) carrying out a regulated activity must be authorized or registered by the FCA, unless they are exempt.

Banks, credit unions and insurance companies are regulated by the FCA and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

  • Steps :
    • Step 1: Application for Authorisation 
    • Step 2: Payment of necessary fees
    • Step 3: Assignment of Case Officer
    • Step 4: Consideration of Firms to comply with the Regulatory system
    • Step 5: Assessment of Application


  • Application for Authorisation :
    • We have to submit the application (or, if you’re dual-regulated, to the PRA) for authorisation. This takes up to 6 months if your application is complete but could take up to 12 months if your application is not complete.


  • Payment of necessary fees : 
    • The application must be accompanied by the fees prescribed.
    • The authorization fee you’ll have to pay depends on whether your application is straightforward, moderately complex or complex.
    • They usually inform the receipt of the application within 3 days
  • Assignment of Case Officer :
    • FCA will contact again within 3 weeks, normally to tell us which case officer they have assigned to our application or to tell us the date by which they will assign our application. The assigned case officer will handle all communication about our application and also give us an alternative person to contact if your assigned case officer is unavailable.
    • The designated case officer will give us an update on the current status of our case at least monthly and often more frequently. We will be notified within a week once our application is considered complete, at which point we will also be given an indication as to by when our application is likely to be decided.


  • Complying with the Regulated System :
    • When FCA receives an application and throughout its assessment of it, they will consider whether you are ready, willing and organised to comply, on a continuing basis, with the requirements and standards under the regulatory system
    • Ready: Authorisations will consider what the applicant has done when preparing to submit their application. Positive indicators can include:
      • reading the information on our website
      • making inquiries about the contact centre
      • seeking legal/compliance advice
      • being able to clearly articulate their regulatory obligations.
    • Willing: Authorisations will consider the attitude of the applicant during the authorisations process. Positive indicators include:
      • being open and honest in all their dealings with us
      • being proactive about getting information to us
      • demonstrating initiative to understand their regulatory duties
      • timeliness and availability of staff to deal with queries about the application.
    • Organised: You should ensure that you have all the supporting documentation prepared and have the necessary arrangements in place to comply with regulations from the day you are authorised.
    • Authorisations will consider the following:
      • why the applicant applied now
      • what is left outstanding that would prevent them from carrying on the activity they have applied for
      • if the applicant were authorised today, would they be able to carry out the activity they have applied for.


  • Assessment
    • The application will be checked against various databases and information held by other regulatory agencies in the UK or overseas.
    • Assessing the business, considering whether it meets the minimum ‘threshold conditions’ in their Handbook.
    • Make a decision on our application.

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Law Graduate from Bangalore, India. Currently involved in research of global crypto regulations and compliance.

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