The FCA has been ordered to pay £1,500 in compensation after it wrongly delayed two CF30 applications.
The complainant first wrote to the regulator in December 2015 with concerns about how long it was taking to process her husband’s approved person’s application. The complainant said her husband lost four months’ income as a result.
According to a Complaints Commissioner report, the regulator had treated approved person’s applications from the complainant’s husband – Mr P – as “non-routine” after an application to work at a firm in 2012.
As part of that application, Mr P had not disclosed an email from a previous employer dismissing him for alleged gross misconduct and said he had actually resigned from that firm.
In 2014, a different firm applied for Mr P to be approved to perform the CF30 function, which is needed to give customer facing advice.
As part of the application, Mr P attended an interview at the FCA where he alleged the earlier dismissal email was resolved through a verbal agreement with his employer and that they would treat his departure as a resignation not a termination. However, the firm had told then regulator the Financial Services Authority Mr P’s employment was terminated.
After the 2014 application was approved, two further applications were submitted which were examined by the “non-routine” team before being approved.
The FCA upheld part of the complaint in June and apologised to the complainant.
The Complaint’s Commissioner report explains: “The FCA stated that, although it had not breached its internal deadline of 90 days in reviewing Mr P’s applications, the FCA accepted that it should have stopped treating Mr P’s applications as non-routine after approving his application for ‘firm L’ in July 2014.”
The FCA said it would not treat further applications as “non-routine” unless new information is revealed.
The complainant was also concerned about the regulator’s consideration of both the firm’s and the applicant’s version of events.
Complaints Commissioner Antony Townsend said the regulator had explained the application process to the complainant.
However, he added: “When there is a difference of opinion, the FCA has confirmed to me that [it] seeks copies of correspondence that may support the firm or the individual’s version of events. This can include a signed statement of events from the candidate, copies of meeting minutes, transcripts of disciplinary meetings, and other documents. In this case, Mr P was given the opportunity to present his viewpoint in the interview with the FCA in 2014.”
Townsend says: “I find that the complaints team took a fair and reasonable review of the complaint, partially upheld it, and apologised to you. The issue with the non-routine processing of approved person applications has now been resolved, and no applications will be flagged for non-routine review on the matter of disclosure re ‘firm S’.”
“However, the FCA did cause Mr P distress and inconvenience by treating his last two applications as non-routine and therefore I recommend the FCA offer to pay Mr P £1,500 to reflect the distress and inconvenience caused.”