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On 1st April 2019 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became the regulator of claims management companies (CMCs). The FCA’s regulatory focus in this space is on driving up standards of conduct and boosting consumer protection. Firms are expected to be trusted providers of high-quality, good-value services that help people pursue legitimate claims for redress.

Authorised CMCs can benefit from a compliance partner such as Cosegic to help them meet FCA’s expectations, standards and adapt to any possible changes that may come their way. Firms that aren’t currently authorised to offer claims management services in the UK will need to take one of the following routes in order to do so, depending on their current authorisation status. For authorised firms, the route will be to apply for a variation of permission (VoP) to add 'claims management' as an additional permission. For those firms who are not yet authorised, a full application for authorisation should be made before any business can be carried out. We can support you with both of these routes, and help you meet your ongoing regulatory requirements once authorised.

Do I need to be authorised as a Claims Management Company?

Key considerations for firms generating leads for Claims Management or Legal firms

What is claims management lead generation?

Claims Management firms assist and act on behalf of their customers who wish to make a claim against an organisation. If a claim relates to one of the following areas, then the firm which is acting on behalf of the organisation is likely to require FCA or SRA authorisation.

  • Personal injury claims
  • Financial Services or product claims
  • Housing Disrepair Claims
  • Specified Benefit Claims
  • Criminal Injury claims
  • Employment-related claims

Firms also require authorisation if they seek out, refer or identify claims and potential claims and refer these type of claims to claims management firms - this is commonly known as “lead generation” or “marketing”.

This includes lead generating or marketing for both FCA and SRA-regulated firms who assist and act on behalf of the customer.

Specifically, this includes:

  • seeking out persons who may have a claim, this includes marketing and advertising.
  • referring details of a claim a potential claim or a claimant or potential claimant to a firm even if no payment is made for the introduction
  • identifying a claim or potential claim, or a claimant, or potential claimant

What happens if I am not authorised?

If a firm carries on any of these activities without authorisation, then it would be committing a criminal offence. The FCA has the ability to take enforcement action against any firm and individuals which conduct regulated activity without the correct authorisation.

How do I become authorised?

If you wish to conduct any of these activities then you will likely need to apply for authorisation with the FCA. This means you will need to submit an application with supporting business plan, policies, procedures, and financial statements to the FCA who will then assess whether your firm is able to meet its minimum standards (known as the threshold conditions) and comply with its principles.

Whilst not an exhaustive list, some specific areas of focus for lead generation firms to mitigate within the application are:

  • Data – How is it collected, stored, and used lawfully?
  • Financial Promotions, marketing, and advertising - how will the firm ensure this will be compliant in line with handbook rules which includes specific disclosures that need to be made?
  • Vulnerable customers – It is likely those customers you seek out will have specific vulnerabilities so it is important to determine how will these be treated specifically to ensure they do not undergo any foreseeable harm.
  • Systems and controls – What controls does the firm have in place to ensure frivolous and vexatious claims are not pursued?
  • Customer outcomes – How will the firm monitor and ensure customers are receiving good outcomes as a result of the introductions the firms makes in terms of ensuring the customer is provided with the right product, that it offers good value, whether they understand what is involved in making a claim through the introduction you make and whether they receive the support they receive throughout your involvement?

Achieving FCA authorisation with Cosegic

If you are unsure as to whether you may require authorisation, or if you think you do but need assistance with the authorisation process, then contact us to see how we are able to help. We have over 80 years of ex-regulator experience in-house, meaning we understand the FCA's priorities when it comes to applications for authorisation. This helps to ensure that you submit a complete and accurate application to the Regulator, no matter the size and sector of their firm, the first time. As one of our core service offerings, FCA applications are something we take pride in doing well.

Nb: Because most business models differ slightly from one to another, the decision as to how and for what a firm needs to be authorised may require advice and guidance once the proposed activity is decided.

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FCA authorisation & regulatory project support

We can support Credit firms with all aspects of their compliance to help them confidently navigate regulation in a way that will keep their vision and objectives intact.

FCA Authorisation & Applications

We know what the FCA is looking for after successfully managing over 1,500 applications across all financial sectors. We work closely with our clients to ensure a complete application, which at the core reflects the client’s business plan, reaches the Regulator, to help ensure authorisation is achieved efficiently.
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Consumer Duty

A wide range of services options to support all firms with the implementation of the new Consumer Duty.
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Appointed Representatives

We help firms that want to build a compliant AR network, and/or maintain their current network. Our support services include annual AR reviews, AR monitoring, and development support of appropriate and compliant AR frameworks. Whether you are looking to become a principal yourself or are unsure as to whether becoming an AR is the best route for you, contact us today.
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Ongoing Compliance Support

Cosegic support hundreds of firms with their ongoing compliance requirements, be it through regular compliance monitoring, online and classroom training, compliance assurance reviews or carrying out remediation required to meet regulatory obligations.
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Compliance Healthcheck

Our Compliance Healthcheck gives you comfort and peace of mind that you have appropriate compliance arrangements in place.
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Compliance Advisory

We provide industry-leading ongoing consultancy services support which is constantly adapted to the ever-evolving regulatory environment. We also routinely solve client specific issues, offer ad-hoc project support, assist with changes in business structure and the effect and impact of new regulation on systems, policies, procedures and controls.
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Training

Ensuring your management and staff receive appropriate compliance training is a requirement of the FCA’s regulations. We offer two options, online training courses using our PortAll software and bespoke classroom training and workshops
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Variation of Permission

If you are an authorised firm looking to change your regulated activities, start a new business line or add new product/client types to your business line, we can support you with your variation of permission (VOP) application.
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Change in Control

If you are looking to acquire or increase control of a regulated firm you must send a notification to the FCA for a Change in Control (CiC) and have prior approval from the FCA before the transaction can go through. We can help you notify the FCA of the change and ensure that the CiC goes smoothly.
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Ongoing support options

Are you looking for compliance support on an ongoing basis? Take a look at our menu below and choose the package that is right for you.

Core

from £99pm
  • Regtech – MCC Lite
  • Document Library
  • Compliance Monitoring Plan
  • Activity Reminders & Guidance
  • Regulatory Updates
  • Helpdesk Support
  • PortALL (1 Licence)
  • Extra Consulting Hours (standard rate)

Flex

from £275pm
  • Expert Consultant Support (6 Hours per annum)
  • Regtech – MCC Lite
  • Document Library
  • Compliance Monitoring Plan
  • Activity Reminders & Guidance
  • Regulatory Updates
  • Helpdesk Support
  • PortALL (1 Licence)
  • Annual Healthcheck (remote)
  • Extra Consulting Hours (discounted rate)

Bespoke

POA
  • Expert Consultant Support Hours (tailored to your individual needs)
  • Regtech – MCC Lite
  • Document Library
  • Compliance Monitoring Plan
  • Activity Reminders & Guidance
  • Regulatory Updates
  • Helpdesk Support
  • PortALL licences (tailored to your individual needs)
  • Extra Consulting Hours (discounted rate)

In addition to your choice of our core, flex, and bespoke support packages, you can also add on any of the following services at an additional fee, to meet your personal business needs.

Annual Compliance Assurance Review, Financial Promotions/ Marketing Review, Compliance Monitoring/ File Reviews, RegData Returns, Flexible Service Contract, Annual Healthcheck (remote)

Find out more about our ongoing support options

Why choose Cosegic?

Our 360 degree perspective of regulatory affairs

01

Our 360 degree perspective of regulatory affairs

Our wide range of financial sector experts come together on a regular basis to discuss their interactions with the FCA and the regulatory trends that they are seeing, providing us with a more informed understanding of the FCA than our competitors.

Direct, proportionate advice

02

Direct, proportionate advice

Our unique perspective means we really do have our fingers on the pulse of regulation, which helps us to ensure that the advice we offer is practical, helpful and directly proportionate to our clients’ needs.

Our understanding of the role of compliance in firms

03

Our understanding of the role of compliance in firms

We have watched the evolution of compliance over the past twenty years and understand that compliance must now become a core part of how financial services carry out their businesses in order for them to be successful.

Compliance confidence for visionary growth

04

Compliance confidence for visionary growth

In recognising this, our services have been built in a way that can help you navigate regulation ensuring you will keep your vision and objectives intact. Our breadth of experience allows us to balance your business objectives with your compliance requirements.

We're experts in our field

Meet Richard Atkinson, Senior Consultant specialising in supporting a wide range of clients, with a particular focus on the Claims Management sector. Richard joined Cosegic in 2023 after spending nine years at the FCA. During his time at the regulator, Richard held the position of Supervision and Authoirsations manager for the credit brokers and lenders teams. He also spent just under three years at the Financial Ombudsman Services as an adjudicator within the Consumer Credit team. At Cosegic, he spends most of his time providing compliance support to clients to help them through the authorisation process, as well as helping firms manage their ongoing supervisory requirements. 

CONTACT RICHARD

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