FCA Application Support

For firms looking to become directly authorised with the FCA – either as a new venture or because they are leaving a Network – then the team offer a highly efficient and cost-effective application service. We frequently get calls from advisers who are considering going directly authorised; it's a huge decision to make and that's why we offer firms comprehensive and bespoke support through this process. We provide ongoing support once the application has been submitted to the FCA (as part of the application we ask firms to name Paradigm as their professional contact which means we can react swiftly and offer rapid assistance to firms in relation to any queries raised by the FCA). Our team has a very high record of successful authorisations being achieved well within the statutory timelines.

Top Tips

The FCA can take up to 6 months to process an application, although applications which do not include investment permissions can be quicker. Read our Top 5 practical tips for FCA Applications below.

The journey starts with the FCA application and the following top tips will help smooth the process…

Experience tells us that a focussed approach to the completion of the application results in completing the application far more quickly than if trying to ‘fit this in’ to a usual working day. Make dedicated time available in your diary (1 to 2 days is sufficient)
Paradigm provides templates for the financial information required as part of the application (opening balance sheet, forecast closing balance sheet, cash flow forecast and profit & loss forecast) but we recommend you engage with your accountant to ensure the financial information is completed and presented correctly.
The FCA take a dim view of non-disclosure so it is important any relevant matters are documented in full, with all facts disclosed.
An incomplete application will take longer to be reviewed by the FCA so make sure all forms and supporting documents are fully completed and that all required items are submitted to the Regulator. The application contains a checklist and we strongly recommend you review this thoroughly to ensure your application is complete before the application is submitted.
The FCA may ask questions as part of their assessment of your application. It is important that any queries raised by the Regulator are answered promptly and fully in order to maintain the momentum of the application with the FCA.


Case study

Not sure what to expect as you go through the FCA authorisation process? Read our Case Study below about one firm that we provided with bespoke FCA Application support. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

The firm in question found themselves sinking more and more under the compliance and administration burden applied by the Network. Activity with clients was becoming secondary and the firm were disgruntled at the heavy fees they were paying to the Network.

We sat down with the firm initially and mapped out what the likely costs of both FCA authorisation (FCA application fee, PI insurance premium and data protection registration fee) and on-going regulatory (FCA/FOS/FSCS) fees would be and the firm were astonished at the amount they could potentially save compared to Network membership.

We then guided the firm through accessing the FCA Connect system and assisted with the building of the firm’s application pack.  The firm were also supplied with Paradigm’s guide to completing the FCA application and we supported the firm with their completion of the application pack and bespoking all of the required supporting document templates provided by Paradigm, to help ensure the application provides an accurate reflection of what the firm will be doing in their own business.
Once the application was complete, we conducted a final ‘sense check’ of the application before the firm submitted the application to the FCA, but our support didn’t finish there. We were also on hand to assist the firm with the queries raised by the Regulator as part of their checking of the firm’s application, and helping the firm with their ‘next steps’ planning.

Since becoming directly authorised, the firm continued with Paradigm’s support and guidance and has flourished. The firm now has full autonomy over its business, including how it manages its client relationships and advice processes, the research and back-office systems it uses, as well as having full control over all day to day aspects of running the business. Paradigm has helped the firm put in place a robust compliance structure and ethos which is appropriate to the size and nature of the firm’s activities and this freedom from over burdensome regulation has enabled the firm to spend more time than ever with clients which in turn has resulted in more deeper, meaningful and productive relationships between the firm and its clients.

Further Help

If you have any questions regarding the above or any other matter connected to applying for direct authorisation please do not hesitate to contact us below or complete the form.

Call us at 03300 536061


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