FCA to accelerate removal of unused firm permissions

The FCA has published draft guidance on a new power that allows it to move faster to remove regulatory permissions that are no longer being used by financial services firms.

Incorrect or outdated permissions on the Financial Services (FS) Register can mislead consumers about the level of protection offered by a firm or give credibility to a firm’s unregulated activities.

The regulatory said the changes will help to prevent scams and to ensure the FS Register presents a clearer picture of the permissions firms hold. Firms are required to confirm that the information on the FS Register is accurate on an annual basis.

The new power, granted to the FCA via the Financial Services Act 2021, will streamline and shorten the process of removing firm permissions which may affect their market access.

The FCA will be able to start the cancellation process as soon as it considers permissions are not being used, by serving 14 days’ notice on a firm. The FCA will then be able to vary or cancel permissions after 1 month.

As part of its transformation, the FCA recently announced separate changes to its decision-making and governance to enable it to make faster and more effective decisions.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “We want to use this power to take quicker action to prevent consumers being misled. It is part of our transformation and drive to be more assertive, drawing on an innovative approach and using new streamlined processes to make important regulatory interventions.

“Firms can and should apply to have their permissions cancelled if they no longer plan to use them but many fail to do so. We understand that business models may evolve over time and there may be valid reasons why regulatory permissions are not being used, but unless firms notify us and keep their permissions up to date, they will risk losing market access”.

The FCA has already undertaken a ‘use it or lose it' exercise with firms – reminding them of their obligation to review regulatory permissions and ensure they are up to date or removed if not needed.

As part of that work firms that have not used their permissions for 12 months or more are at risk of having them cancelled via the existing cancellations process.

It is part of the FCA’s response to tackle issues raised by Dame Elizabeth Gloster’s review into the regulation of London Capital & Finance (LC&F).
The consultation will run until 29 October 2021.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


The Future of Intelligent Finance
FStech Group Editor Mark Evans sits down with Jason Cao, President of Global Financial Services Business Unit, Enterprise BG at Huawei ahead of its Intelligent Finance Summit which was held on 3rd and 4th of June in Shanghai. This Q&A delves into key trends in digital transformation of the financial services industry as well as a look at how data, robotic infrastructure, intelligent storage and innovative technologies are shaping the future for FSIs.

The Rise of Instant Payments
Instant payments are creating new business opportunities for banks by providing more touchpoints than ever. With these evolutions underway, Featurespace brought leading industry experts together to discuss how they are protecting customers from fraudsters in real time, utilizing innovative and disruptive solutions to reduce fraud. Click here to find out more.

Offloading Cyber Risk in the Cloud
As cyber attacks and data breaches are in the news on an increasingly regular basis - with regulatory penalties and customer trust on the line for financial services firms - it has never been more crucial to be compliant in the cloud.

This video, with Akamai’s EMEA director of security technology and strategy Richard Meeus, will help explain what your company can be doing to make sure it’s not embroiled in the next big fine or front-page scandal.