The application forms are publicly available via the FCA website, but the forms and guidance do not provide an indication as to how the FCA would like the application to be completed, and the FCA’s viewpoint in this regard changes over time.
The endgame of the application process is to demonstrate to the FCA that the applicant firm meets the threshold conditions for being FCA authorised and to a large extent the application process is an exercise of reading ‘between the lines’ in order to suss out how the FCA’s criteria for deciding whether or not a firm meets these conditions – this can only be achieved via involvement with multiple applications.
Collating and drafting the necessary paperwork and submitting your FCA application is time-consuming in and of itself (circa 2 months) and can be further delayed if the FCA poses a host of unnecessary questions. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly likely that an application that is not ‘up-to-scratch’ would need to be withdrawn and re-submitted.
Our team of senior FCA compliance consultants have helped gain authorisation for over 500 firms to date and can help to ensure that you get authorised the first-time round.