The Financial Conduct Authority appears to have got its backlog of authorisations under control as average waiting times have reduced dramatically.
Between October and December 2016 it took an average of just over 15 weeks for an application to be determined – down from 25 weeks earlier in the year.
The FCA had said it was aware of the backlog and had brought in more staff to help deal with it.
Over the course of 2016 the maximum processing time for an authorisation application had increased to 74 weeks and then to 90 weeks – nearly two years.
But the FCA has now revealed it has reduced authorisation times to 51 weeks as the regulator appears to get to grips with the problem.
The FCA said: “The average processing time for retail firm type applications reduced for the third successive quarter.
“There has been a focus on reducing the shelf life of cases and allocating cases more quickly.”
The number of determined applications for retail firms increased through 2016 from around 120 between January and March to 180 in October to December.
There has also been a reduction in the average processing time for variation of permissions applications.
This has gone down by around half – from around 14 weeks to around seven.
However the maximum processing time was 52 weeks – an increase on the previous quarter.
Of the applications for authorisation which the FCA received, just one was refused and 7 per cent were withdrawn.