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Waiting times for FSA authorisation treble

The FSA is taking three times longer to approve new authorisations than it did before the credit crisis, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information act.

The figures, obtained by law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, show it took an average of 7.9 weeks to gain authorisation in Q2 2007 but this jumped to 21.1 weeks in Q2 2010. The waiting time increased 8 per cent between Q1 2010 to Q2 2010, from 19.5 weeks to 21.1 weeks (see full table below).

Applications for corporate authorisation dropped from 2,193 for the financial year 2006/07 to 1,520 in 2009/2010.

RPC regulatory partner Jonathan Davies says: “Fewer financial service businesses have been trying to enter the market since the credit crunch started so it is even more astonishing that FSA authorisations are taking so long.”
“These delays risk reducing competition and harming the City’s international competitiveness.  Is the legacy of the credit crunch really going to be that consumers suffer because of a lack of competition between financial service providers?”

Davies says it is still unclear how the authorisation process will work after the FSA is abolished. “Financial services firms will be concerned that it may become even more complicated to get authorisation – or that it might take even longer,” he says.


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There are 17 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Davies wonders how the authorisation process will work after the demise of the FSA? Can it be any worse. The FSA do not care anymore as they know their time is coming to an end in 2012 thank god. The problem now is what damage they can do until then,

  2. FSA waiting times treble. So this is what is meant by “Treating the Customer Fairly”. TCF really only seems to work one way and is obviously not a concern for the FSA who just seem to spend our moneu on tea & biscuits.

  3. How can this be deemed remotely acceptable ?

    The FSA is putting people’s livelihoods on hold – possibly at risk.

    In any case, when a previously authorised person (AR or RI) wants to move to a different practice, it should be a simple ‘rubber stamping’ exercise. Why does it take more than 48 hours – indeed, why is there a need to seek re- authorization at all ? It should be a simple case of the old and new firms both notifying the FSA of the whereabouts of the authorized person and from what date one firm has become responsible for the AR’s or RI’s actions.

    Does a GP moving between practices need to be re-authorised ? Does an accountant or a lawyer moving between firms require to be re-authorised ? Does a quangocrat moving between different quangos need re-certifying ?

    The whole exercise is about keeping people in non-jobs ! And we are paying for these outrageous procedures and the staff that carry out this non-function.

  4. I agree, the FSA is now like a very dangerous lose cannon that could cause untold damage.
    It reminds me of when companies give dismissed employees “gardening leave” for just such reasons.

  5. That’s TCF for you!

  6. why is anyone supprised by this increase,
    it’s par for the course, you won’t recognise the financial services sector in five years time,
    product regulation is just around the corner

  7. This fits in nicely with the FSA wanting to get rid of IFAs. Not many people could afford to be off work for 6 month(authorisation time plus getting back into the swing of things) More importantly however, clients will suffer by not receiving advice(unless of course they go to the banks and get stitched up) I thought part of the FSA, rules and regulations including Treating Customers Fairly. Of course it does not apply to them.

  8. Although on the face of it you might think that you will have to be off work for 6 months there are ways in which you would still be able to trade during the authorisation process. I would suggest talking to Simply Biz to find out how you can save time and money whilst becoming authorised and still continue to trade. As the largest ‘pre fsa’ administrators of direct authorisation applications they are well placed to offer you advice on the best way in which to proceed.

  9. Some commentators above need to learn the different meanings of the words “authorisation” and “approval”, rather than commenting on something that this article’s not about…

  10. paolo standerwick 11th October 2010 at 10:17 am

    Not sure where this information came from but in 2005 it took about 12 idiots at the FSA a full year to approve my firm with less than 5 staff!

    And they were part of the team that wasted 20% of their time talking about tennis, masonic links within the FSA, playing with their mobile phones, discussing sexual affairs at HQ that were going on etc etc. No wonder it takes so long! I know I have the proof taped.

  11. There's a hole in my bucket dear FSA dear FSA 11th October 2010 at 10:18 am

    The FSA have designed an RDR bucket with a hole in. The exit hole is bigger than the entrance!

    Interesting to see how many “ins” and how many “outs” there are?

  12. And the response from the FSA is………….? A spokesperson declined to offer comment

    If any comment were to be forthcoming, it’d doubtless be along the lines of “Do as we say, not as we do”.

    And to think that these people are actually under the self delusion that they do a good job. And that Adair Turner is forever asking for more money, more staff, more powers, just more, more, more of everything. Sickening ~ a quango of the worst possible type. I can’t wait to get away.

  13. I don’t think it is any coincidence that the FSA is using the same “scorched earth policy” on IFAs, that their Labour masters used to destroy the economy before they crawled away

  14. I’m going to make a couple of further observations about Jonathan’s numbers:

    1. It covers all Part IV authorisations and, contrary to popular belief in this neck of the woods, that’s more than just IFAs.

    2. If you run the numbers on this, you’ll see it only takes 47 firms (that’s a mere 3% of applicants) to go ‘to the wire’ with a 52-week application to get that 8% year-on-year increase. Anyone looking for a deposit-taking permission is bound to be in that sort of space and, in my experience, anyone who’s tride to do their business plan on the back of a fag packet too.

    Jonathan, if you’re reading this: I have a huge amount of professional respect for you, but I do find some of your press releases needlessly sensationalist (though I appreciate entirely that’s their point).

  15. Some of you don’t read, or can’t, this is all about corporate authorisation.

    How careful would you be if a firm the size of Tesco applied to become a mortgage lender?

  16. Several of our clients, half-way through various transactions when we moved networks have been very seriously affected by the 12 weeks (so far) the FSA have taken. Some of these clients have dealt with me for over 30 years and simply won’t talk to anyone else. This makes a complete farce of TCF.

  17. only a stubborn donkey would create pointless delays such as this.

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