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To sell or broker financial products in the UK, you will typically need to be FCA authorised. Regulated activity includes introducing or directly providing insurance, loans, credit cards, finance and more – and you will require a license and authorisation in order to do this legally.

However, there is a process involved to become authorised, to ensure that you are fit and proper to offer these services according to the regulatory framework. This means that not everyone applies is able to get authorisation – or they may need subsequent applications before being approved. We highlight some of the things you can do to maximise your chances of FCA approval. 

Follow the instructions from the FCA

The FCA outlines different things that you need to do when applying for authorisation. For example, for consumer credit firms, you will need to provide things such as employment history, details of partners, shares, projected earnings, business plans and more. The more thorough and professional that you can be providing this information, the easier it will be for the FCA in-house team to facilitate your application.

You will also find more information in terms of how they would like this information formatted and presented. There is also an indication in terms of how long it takes to receive an answer or feedback from the regulator.

Having a clean background 

The FCA are more likely to approve principals that have strong credit records and have avoided bankruptcy, legal action and criminal activity in the past. There may be a certain timeframe whereby this is treated with leniency, but if you have just come out of a heavy legal battle in a regulated environment, this may affect your final decision. 

In addition, anything that you can do to demonstrate legitimacy and compliance is welcomed. This includes any certificates, formal training or having a qualified lawyer or accountant as part of your team.  

Demonstrate a commitment to treating customers fairly

The FCA emphasises its six outcomes of treating customers fairly and making sure that customers and partners receive a product that is clear, transparent and they receive advice that is suitable.  

With this in mind, it is important to create an environment that works around this framework and as an FCA applicant, you can have clear information ready about the products that you want to offer. In addition, you can show your commitment to customer services through employing managers, providing training, storing data safely and having visible processes available for staff. 

Use a compliance consultant

If you would like FCA application help, you can look at working with a compliance consultancy practice. This type of firm specialises in preparing applications for the FCA to approve and will provide guidance in terms of the information you need to put together and how to present it. Whilst this can be a costly service, it should enable a faster approval process and also maximise your chances of success.

Become an appointed representative

If you are overwhelmed by the FCA application process, you can investigate becoming an appointed representative under another licensed firm. This will involve working under their umbrella and operating under their license. This process can usually take a few weeks if approved and can be more cost-effective, however, it means that you cannot store or hold data and all payments must go through the principal before you can receive any.

How to Improve Your Chances of Becoming FCA Authorised
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