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Preparing for FCA authorisation: what you need to know

Preparing for FCA authorisation
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Are you considering applying for authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for your firm? If so, you’re stepping into a thorough process that demands careful attention to detail, especially when it comes to your financial information. Here’s what you need to know about preparing your firm’s financial data for an FCA application.

Understanding FCA’s expectations

The FCA, as the regulatory body overseeing financial services in the UK, places great emphasis on the financial stability and integrity of firms seeking authorisation or registration. Insufficient or poorly prepared financial information often leads to delays in the authorisation process. Therefore, it’s crucial to align your financial data with the FCA’s requirements to ensure a smooth application process.

What financial data to include in your application

Before submitting your application to the FCA, ensure it includes the following components:

  1. Historical financial statements: If your firm is already in operation, provide three years of historical accounts. This demonstrates your financial track record and stability.
  2. Forward-looking financial projections: Include three years of forecasts in Excel format, detailing income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Ensure accuracy and watch out for common errors like unbalanced balance sheets.
  3. Accompanying notes and key assumptions: Provide comprehensive notes to your accounts and key assumptions supporting your business plan. This helps the FCA understand the rationale behind your financial projections.
  4. Quantified prudential regime: If applicable, include details of share capital and other relevant material to demonstrate compliance with prudential requirements.
  5. Financial Analysis Template: The FCA provides specific templates for different types of firms. Wholesale firms, including buyside, sellside, and wholesale service providers, can download the Financial Analysis Template from the FCA’s website. This template includes guidance and a glossary to assist with completion. While the template does not include a Cash Flow Statement, firms are encouraged to share their cash flow statements using their own format. Retail firms, on the other hand, can download a separate Financial Analysis Template tailored to their business type, size, and legal status. Similar to the wholesale template, this resource provides guidance and a glossary for accurate completion.

Why high-quality financial information matters

Submitting complete and accurate financial information demonstrates your firm’s readiness, organisation, and commitment to regulatory compliance. It enables the FCA to assess your application faster and identify any potential issues early on. Additionally, it ensures that your firm’s financial resources are adequate to manage risks effectively, minimising the possibility of harm to consumers and financial markets.

How Neopay can assist you

Navigating the FCA authorisation process can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Neopay, a leading regulatory compliance specialist in the e-money and payments markets, offers expert assistance to firms seeking FCA authorisation.

Our services include:

  • Application preparation and review: We’ll ensure your application is complete, accurate, and aligned with FCA requirements.
  • Regulatory guidance: Our experts will advise you on sector-specific regulatory requirements and expectations.
  • Process optimisation: We’ll help you establish internal processes and controls to ensure compliance with FCA standards.
  • Communication support: We’ll assist you in engaging with the FCA effectively throughout the authorisation process.
  • Record-keeping guidance: We’ll advise you on best practices for maintaining regulatory-compliant records.

With our decades of experience and proven track record in obtaining FCA authorisation for clients, you can navigate the authorisation process confidently and efficiently. Don’t let common mistakes derail your application—partner with us to increase your chances of success.

Preparing your firm’s financial information for an FCA application is a critical step toward obtaining authorisation. By adhering to the FCA’s expectations and seeking expert guidance from Neopay, you can streamline the process and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your business on its journey to FCA authorisation.

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