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FCA takes almost 6 months to authorise new firms

New financial services firms are having to wait an average of almost six months before gaining authorisation from the FCA, figures from law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain reveal.

Firms had to wait 25.8 weeks between April and June for FCA approval, up 6 per cent from the 24.3 week wait experienced by firms in the previous three months.

The average number of weeks taken by the regulator to authorise new firms is similar to the same period last year, which was 25.9 weeks, though throughout last year it had looking as if the regulator was speeding up the process with wait times dropping to 23.4 weeks as at the end of last year.

RPC’s latest figures on authorisations show that over the last five years, the number of weeks it takes the regulator to approve new firms is up a massive 86 per cent from the 13.9 weeks it took in Q2 2008.

RPC partner Richard Burger says: “If the split of the FSA is causing long delays in allowing new financial services firms to enter the market that is a concern.

“Such are the delays in getting approval from the regulator that many very viable financial services businesses never get off the drawing board.”

He needs: “Obviously the regulator wants to ensure quality control over the business plans and the management of new businesses but they also need to weigh that against the costs and uncertainties that the approval process causes for new businesses.

“If the FCA continues to scrutinise new start-ups much more rigorously than its predecessor, then we can expect to see long authorisation times becoming a big problem.”



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  1. Thought I’d mention my recent experience. I applied to the FCA mid May 2013, they logged the application as received on 20 May 2013 and on 30 July I received confirmation that I was ready to be authorised subject to confirmation of PI cover and capitalisation.

    I was coming from at network so that might have helped but all in all I have been impressed with FCA approval times.

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