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First &#39minded to authorise&#39 letters are sent out by FSA

The FSA has sent the first batch of 1,000 letters to firms it is “minded to authorise” to carry on mortgage and general insurance business.

Firms getting MTA letters are set to receive formal authorisation later this year unless significant changes in their circumstances lead to reconsideration by the FSA.

Formal authorisation will be given to firms nearer the relevant dates for the start of regulation – October 31, 2004 for mortgages and January 14, 2005 for general insurance.

In the meantime, firms can use their MTA letter to demonstrate to clients that the FSA is minded to authorise them when regulation takes effect.

Director of high-street firms division Sarah Wilson says: “This first dispatch of MTA letters marks important progress in the major exercise of bringing an unprecedented number of new firms into regulation at one time. From now on, letters will be sent out regularly in the normal course of our authorisation work.”

Each letter sets out the scope of permission the FSA is minded to grant to a particular firm, any requirements or limitations and the list of individuals it is minded to approve.

The FSA has received 15,000 registrations for application packs and more than 5,000 applications, mostly for mortgage business. It urges any firms contemplating seeking authorisation to do so quickly, as the date before which applications were guaranteed to be processed before October 31 has passed.

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