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FCA: 20 firms seeking banking licences

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There are currently 20 firms seeking banking licences, according to FCA chief executive officer Martin Wheatley.

Today the regulator published its annual report in which it said 14 banks had been authorised since 2013 and 20 were currently in the pre-application stage.

The pre-application stage requires firms to submit a draft business plan after which they will meet with the Prudential Regulation Authority. The aim of the pre-application stage is to save time by ensuring firms submit a more complete application at a later date.

In March 2013 the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, and the Bank of England published their review of requirements for firms entering or expanding in the banking sector.

They reformed the authorisation process and prudential regulation for applicants, which included lower capital and liquidity requirements.

Wheatley says: “Working with the PRA, we are giving firms who want to enter the market more tailored support as well as lowering the capital and liquidity requirements and granting authorisation where they have a developed business plan and key senior managers in place.

“It brings certainty for these firms and as a result 14 new banks have been authorised in the UK since 2013. Another 20 are in the pre-application stage.”

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