FCA accused of wasting advisers’ time

The FCA’s consumer credit license approval process is a “waste of time” for advisers because it is so complicated, an adviser has claimed.

Neil Liversidge, managing director of Yorkshire-based Personal Financial Solutions, said that the process had become too complicated under the FCA.

The responsibility passed to the FCA from the Office of Fair Trading in April, when the OFT closed.

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He said: “If I want to drive down a road I do not need to know the chemical composition of tarmac and gravel. This should apply with using the Credit Consumer Act.

“The OFT understood that, and their application form took around 30 minutes to fill out.”

But he said the process was less simple under the FCA, adding: “It shows a lack of respect on their part for other people’s time.”

In October the regulator was criticised by mortgage brokers for failing to offer clarity on what permissions they would need when getting a license.

Speaking at the time, Michelle Lawson, of Hampshire-based Lawson Financial, said she needed authorisation to operate but was unsure of the permissions she needed.

Right to reply

An FCA spokesman said: “The authorisations’ process is one of the key differences between the FCA and OFT regime and will help to improve standards in the sector.

“Firms and individuals will need to clearly demonstrate that their business models are fair, robust and show how they will put the interests of consumers first.

“This process is deliberately more detailed than OFT licensing was and will result in some firms failing to secure authorisation. But we believe it should help establish a minimum standard across the industry which is in everyone’s best interest.”