Law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain has attacked the FSA’s “laborious” and “intrusive” approach to the authorisation of financial services firms’ expansion plans after the average regulatory approval period increased to 97 days.
The figure, which covers the 12 months to June 30, 2011, represents a 10 per cent increase on the previous year’s average of 88 days.
RPC says the average number of days taken for FSA approval has more than trebled since 2008, when it stood at just 25 days.
Firms need to vary their permissions with the regulator when starting a new line of business, undertaking a new regulated activity or extending a business line into a new product or to a new class of customer.
Regulatory partner Jonathan Davies says: “The FSA’s remit is to ensure that a company’s business plan will not pose a significant threat to the stability of the markets or put consumers at risk.
“However, these new figures seem to show that the FSA’s checking process is becoming more laborious than ever before.
“The financial services sector is a key employer and vital generator of tax revenue. If the FSA’s intrusive approach is applied indiscriminately and prevents well run, stable businesses from expanding, it damages competition and both the consumer and the economy will suffer.”