The FCA will take over the regulation of consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading next April, and has begun contacting advisers offering discounts if they apply for interim permission.
However confusion remains among those who have already bought OFT consumer credit licences, and are now forced to pay for the FCA licences.
Dermot Brannigan, principal of Wiltshire-based Dermot Brannigan IFA, said: “Some advisers have paid substantial amounts for lifetime licences, and when I got the letter from the FCA demanding even more money for a new licence I thought it was a joke.
“It’s just another bill which the advisory community is resigned to paying. The worst thing about it is that I’m pretty sure this way of suddenly imposing charges would be frowned upon if the FCA found advisers doing it to their clients, but then clients have a choice to go elsewhere, unlike advisers.”
The FCA has warned that its new authorisation process will require a more detailed application, with applicants required to demonstrate that they satisfy minimum FCA standards.”
The FCA confirmed last month that advisers would eventually be issued with rebates for the amount paid for OFT licences, however no further details have been released.
Chris Dunston, chartered financial planner for Devon-based Artavia PFS, said: “I’m resigned to the fact that I had to pay that bill, and this is a cost that will have to be passed onto my clients.”
Other advisers have taken to online forums to vent their frustration, including one known to Financial Adviser, who claimed that regulators could “charge what they like, whether in fees or fines” while advisers “have to just put up with it, whether we like it or not”.