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How to obtain FCA authorisation licence in 4 steps: Applying for UK FCA licence authorisation

1. FCA License Overview

If you wish to provide regulated financial services in the UK, you must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

2. List of Regulated Financial Services Activities

1. Claims management activities

- Seeking out, referrals and identification of claims or potential claims

- Advice, investigation or representation in relation to:

- a personal injury claim

- a financial services or financial product claim

- a housing disrepair claim

- a claim for a specified benefit

- a criminal injury claim

- an employment-related claim

- Lending

- Credit broking

- Debt services, e.g. deb adjusting, debt counselling, debt collecting or debt administration

- Advising on regulated credit agreements for the acquisition of land

- Consumer hire agreement as owner

- Providing credit information services e.g. as a credit reference agency

- Providing credit references

- Operating an electronic system in relation to lending e.g. peer to peer lending

3. Designated investment business

- Advising on or managing investments

- advising on pension transfers/opt-outs

- Advising on P2P (peer-to-peer) agreements

- Arranging deals in investments

- Making arrangements/executing transactions in investments

- Dealing in investments as an agent

- Dealing in investments as a principal

- Providing basic advice on stakeholder products

- Safeguarding and administering investments

- Sending dematerialised instructions or causing dematerialised instructions to be sent

- Managing a UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities)

- Acting as trustee or depositary of a UCITS

- Managing an AIF (Alternative Investment Fund)

- Acting as trustee or depositary of an AIF

- Managing an unauthorised AIF

- Acting as trustee or depositary of an unauthorised AIF

- Establishing, operating or winding up a collective investment scheme

- Establishing, operating or winding up a stakeholder pension scheme

- Establishing, operating or winding up a personal pension scheme

- Bidding in emissions auctions

- Operating a multilateral trading facility

- Operating an organised trading facility

- Issuing e-money e.g. cards and electronic wallets

5. Insurance business

- Effecting contracts of insurance

- Carrying out contracts of insurance

6. Insurance distribution business (mainly for non-investment insurance contracts)

- Advising on investments

- Arranging deals in investments

- Making arrangements with regards to transactions in investments

- Dealing in investments as an agent

- Assisting in the administration and performance of a contract of insurance

- Offering payment accounts

- Providing money remittance

- Payment processing/acquiring merchant transactions

- Account initiation

- Payment initiation

8. Regulated home finance

- Advising on regulated mortgage contracts

- Arranging regulated mortgage contracts

- Mortgage lending

- Advising on a home reversion plan

- Arranging, advising, entering or administering a home reversion plan

- Arranging a home purchase plan

- Entering into or administering a home purchase plan

3. Applying for FCA License Authorisation

Below is the list of things you should do in order to successfully apply for an FCA authorisation license:

1. Decide which license and permissions you require.

2. Understand the minimum conditions you must meet – known as threshold conditions.

3. Understand the FCA’s principles and rules about systems and controls you must beet. This includes the Perimeter Guidance manual (PERG) and the COND handbook, detailing the threshold conditions.

Depending on the type of license you are applying for, you should also review additional handbooks e.g. the Payment Services Regulations 2 if you wish to become a payment institution, the CONC handbook if you wish to provide consumer credit and the Electronic Money Regulations if you wish to offer e-money services.

4. Prepare your application. This will include preparing all the policy documents, including a business plan, compliance manual, AML manual, risk management procedures, IT/security policy, operational procedures, and financial forecasts, usually for 3 years.

5. Meet all other requirements. For example, showing evidence of any initial capital requirements (where applicable).

6. Demonstrating that you have both the financial and non-financial resources to operate the firm. With regards to non-financial resources, a key is that your employees must be suitably skilled, experienced and knowledgeable to carry out their roles. For example, your money laundering reporting officer should have some years of experience working in a similar role and/or show relevant certificates and/or financial education. Key people within your business will be assessed individually for their suitability against the role they have applied for. You must also demonstrate that your IT systems and internal controls are capable of managing your risks and compliance adequately so that you are capable of providing a safe and secure service to your users.

4. Next Steps - How to prepare a successful FCA License Application

Buckingham Capital Consulting is a leading international regulatory consulting firm. We can advise on your FCA license applicability, application preparations and management. We are able to advise you on the best course of action and strategy based upon your business plan and financial product or service. We can help you with licencing, compliance, operational setup and related services.

For more information, visit our website on

We hope you enjoyed the read and found it useful. 😊


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