EEA Firms: Eight Step Authorisation Process

Posted on: 14 April 2021

Written by: James Borley

There are eight application steps for EEA firms. It’s important that firms submit an articulate and complete application to the FCA (and, if dual-regulated, to the PRA) at the first time of asking, to ensure a smooth approval process and to build a strong relationship with the regulator(s). There are many elements to the application, so it’s important to ensure your whole firm is engaged in the process.

  1. Decide if a UK presence is viable. Will your firm’s UK operation – or planned operation – meet its strategic objectives under the regulatory regime? If yes, the firm should proceed with an application.

  2. Decide if a UK permission is necessary. If you are conducting business with UK customers solely on a cross-border services basis, e.g. over the internet from your home state jurisdiction, you may not actually need to be authorised. If you are unsure, obtain advice.

  3. Consider the branch or subsidiary question. If your firm is seeking to establish a presence in the UK, or it already has a branch here, you should nevertheless consider whether an application by a subsidiary is more likely to be acceptable to the FCA.

  4. Determine required permissions. Your firm needs to be sure about the activities it wants to conduct in the UK, that it will be applying for permission to operate for all those UK activities which require authorisation, and that it identifies the relevant UK regulations e.g. FSMA, PSRs and EMRs.

  5. Identify resources needed. What human and information resources are needed to complete the application? Prepare a project plan.

  6. Ensure your firm meets the regulator's expectations. Is your firm “ready, willing, and organised”, and does it meet the FCA’s 'minimum standards?' If not, when is it likely to do so?

  7. Complete the application. Does your application contain all of the information the FCA will want and expect to see? Is
    it clear and concise? Does it address any potential concerns the FCA may have?

  8. Submit the application. Send the FCA your application via the Connect portal and pay the application fee. Be ready to provide any additional information to the FCA it may require. Be ready to provide to the FCA any additional information it may require.


James B

James Borley

James, our Managing Director for Payment Services, is a highly qualified financial services expert and a familiar name to many in the payments and e-money community.

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