Senior and mid-level staff within a FCA regulated firm are subject to a ‘fit and proper’ test. This includes demonstrating that the individual passes the ‘honesty and integrity’ requirement. An individual’s criminal history is a key component within this requirement.
However, it is possible to get FCA authorisation or perform a relevant function if you have a conviction or criminal record.
The FCA website states that they will not necessarily refuse approval if the individual has a criminal record or past conviction. The FCA will be able and willing to assess each application on a case-by-case basis, including:
- The type of conviction
- Whether the conviction has been spent
- The length of time since the conviction
- Whether the nature of the crime raises questions of honesty
- Was the conviction financially motivated or related
- Whether an appropriate penalty has been carried out
- The record of the individual since the conviction
- Has the offender provided compensation to its victims
- Has the individual been rehabilitated
There is no specific time length or tariff in place for criminal convictions to have passed, since the FCA openly states that they will consider all and multiple factors when deciding to offer FCA approval or controlled functions to an individual.
Can I be an FCA approved person or appointed representative with a criminal record?
Yes, you may be an FCA approved person or appointed representative of a firm with a conviction, criminal record or felony.
This is not guaranteed and will depend on various factors including the nature of your conviction, length of time since the act took place and your record since the conviction date.
Do I have to disclose any prior convictions to the FCA?
Yes, any individual applying to be a senior manager, or for so-called ‘controlled functions’ is required to offer full transparency and history of previous convictions – and failing to do so may cause the application to be rejected outright.
You should disclose a conviction if any of the following apply:
- it is a listed offence
- you received a custodial sentence or sentence of service detention
- you have been convicted of other offences in addition to those that do not fit the above circumstances
- if you were under 18 at the time of conviction and less than 5 years and 6 months have passed
- if you were over 18 at the time of conviction and less than 11 years have passed
You should disclose a caution if any of the following apply:
- it was a listed offence
- you were under 18 at the time of the caution and less than 2 years have passed since the caution date
- you were over eighteen at the time of the caution and less than 6 years have passed
In certain instances, the regulated firm is obliged to perform criminal background checks on the individual, these being in addition to any checks conducted by the FCA.
Can I apply for FCA authorisation in someone else’s name?
The FCA is likely to pick up on any applications that are linked to someone with a conviction. You will need to be transparent and open about your application and apply in your own name if you wish to become a senior manager or take on a controlled function.
Can I work for an FCA-regulated firm with a felony or criminal record?
Yes, you can, depending on the background checks carried out by that regulated firm. However, there may be a stricter approval process if you are looking to become a senior manager or hold a controlled function within that firm.