Firms face longer wait for FCA approval

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Financial services firms are having to wait longer to gain FCA authorisation, with one firm waiting 74 weeks to be approved.

In its latest key performance indicators report, published yesterday, the regulator says the average processing time for retail firm applications was around 25 weeks in the three months to June, up from around 23 weeks in the previous quarter.

The maximum processing time increased to 74 weeks from 50 weeks between January and March.

The FCA says it has hired temporary staff to help with processing applications but it expects processing times to increase in the next three months.

It says: “Our average processing time for both retail and wholesale firm type applications has increased as anticipated while additional temporary staff are brought in and trained.

“We expect our processing time to continue to increase in the next quarter as these additional staff become fully proficient. We then expect to see our processing time to improve.”

The regulator did not refuse any applications in the quarter but the number of firms that withdrew increased from 8 per cent from January to March to 11 per cent from April to June.

The minimum waiting time for authorisation was between one and three days.