Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA puts lagging authorisations down to breaches

FCA puts lagging authorisations down to breaches

The Financial Conduct Authority has said that due to breaches earlier in the year it does not expect to meet all its service levels for authorisations in 2022.

The regulator said it plans to be meeting its service levels for authorisations by March 2023. 

So far this year, the City watchdog has recorded 5,347 breaches for approved persons, 1,577 for appointed representatives (ARs), and nine for Part 4A permissions.

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Unlike service levels for approved persons and ARs, which have either remained the same or improved, services levels for Part 4A Permissions have slipped slightly by 2.7 percentage points.

AR applications have experienced the biggest jump in service levels, with the FCA doubling its efforts to process them between last year and so far this year.

Authorisation process

Target service level

Service level for FY 21/22

Service level year-to-date

Approved Persons (SM&CR, CF and SIF)




Approved Persons




Appointed Representatives




Authorisations (To process a complete application for Part 4A Permission)




Source: Financial Conduct Authority 

Authorisations are set to transition to a newer version of the FCA’s current system in a bid to improve firms’ user experience of the process from next year.

The regulator also plans to recruit at least 30 more case officers into authorisations in this financial year.

“We have a programme of strategic transformation activity in progress,” the regulator said in an update published yesterday (October 11).

“This will bring our service metrics substantially within deadline by the end of March 2023 and continue to improve the way we operate our authorisations gateway into the future.

"Service levels are a lagging indicator. We plan to be meeting the service levels at the end of 2022/23 but due to breaches earlier in the year we expect not to meet the service level when reported over the full year."

Based on recommendations in the Gloster Review into London Capital & Finance, the FCA has increased the scrutiny it applies at the gateway.

As a result, the number of firms that were not authorised in 2021/22 was one in five, up from one in 14 in the previous financial year.