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1. How do you make the process of FCA authorisation easier?

With over a decade of experience in FCA authorisation services, we know and understand what the regulator is looking for. We can preempt the pitfalls and provide good guidelines for your regulatory business plan, as well as making sure your policies and procedures are in place before you apply.

This means, not only does the submission process run smoothly, but FCA follow-ups are kept to a minimum, which saves you countless admin hours.

If the FCA does request more information or further explanation, we know how to respond in a way that does not open the door for more scrutiny - something that comes from years of FCA authorisation experience across every financial services sector.

2. How can you speed up my time to market?

We understand the FCA inside out and provide FCA authorisation services to make your application journey (and therefore speed to market) faster and easier. We will work alongside you to get your documentation ready, prepare your submission, and field any follow-ups. 

We can provide as much, or as little, support as you need with an approach that suits your business. By taking advantage of our extensive experience in this field, you will get your regulatory responsibilities tied up easier and your proposition to market faster.

3. What do I still need to be responsible for?

This will differ, depending on your business activity and sector. For example, if you are in the e-money sector, the regulations require you to have an MLRO + 2 UK-based key individuals to act on your behalf. Thistle Initiatives can provide the firm with outsourced compliance services.

4. What do I need to have in place to start the FCA application process?

Your business must be more robust than just an idea to bring to market. The firm must have identified 2 key individuals in the UK to operate the business. Have appropriate funding and capital and a thought-out solution. The FCA may also request a review of Fintech platforms.

5. What sets you apart from others financial services compliance consultancies?

We have knowledge and experience in FCA authorisation services spanning over a decade and across all verticals within financial services. We have undertaken over 1000 applications. We simplify the process and make authorisation a smoother ride.

6. How much will it cost to use your services?

We offer three FCA authorisation service levels, depending on the amount of support you need from us:

Level 1:
For firms who have been through the FCA authorisation process before and have a good understanding of what the process looks like. We can give your application pack a once-over and ensure everything is in line with FCA expectations and requirements. 

Level 2:
You can take advantage of our suite of compliance policy and procedure templates to put your FCA application together. We will then review and feedback so you can make changes ahead of submission. 

Level 3:
This is for new firms who have limited experience in FCA applications and require unlimited advice and support. It often involves assisting with drafting the application, providing and assisting with policy and procedure documentation, plus unlimited help and advice to submission and during the FCA follow-up process.

7. How long will it take to become FCA authorised?

Right now, on average it takes 9-12 months.

8. What happens if I do not become authorised?

Unless a firm benefits from an exemption (such as being an appointed representative (AR), it is a criminal offence to conduct regulated activity without authorisation.

9. How much capital do I need to become FCA authorised?

The capital requirement is based on your permissions and activities. Just before authorisation, you will need to show the FCA that the business has adequate capital, plus you will need additional capital to ensure that you can meet the capital requirement for at least the first three years of authorisation.

10. Can I speak to some clients you have worked with before for references?

Yes, we can provide references and you can also review our testimonials and case studies . Please get in touch to ask about client references.

11. What additional support do you offer for regulatory compliance?

You can see a list of our outsourced compliance services here.

12. Do you provide contracted compliance officers?

We do not provide compliance officers, however we work very closely with trusted recruiters who can help you source appropriate individuals, we will be happy to put you in touch.

13. Can you introduce us to any third parties we may need on the road to authorisation?

Yes, we have a number of trusted parties, from lawyers to IT consultants. You can find out more on our about page.

14. Can you provide authorisation support for businesses in the EU?

Yes, and you can find out more about our international compliance services on our applications page.