FCA to move faster to remove unused firm permissions

September 2021

The FCA has issued a press release and has confirmed on its website that it has published draft guidance on a new power that allows it to move faster to remove regulatory permissions that are no longer being used by financial services firms.  The FCA believes that Incorrect or outdated permissions on the Financial Services (FS) Register can mislead consumers about the level of protection offered by a firm or give credibility to a firm’s unregulated activities.

We are aware that the FCA has written to some firms indicating an intention to remove or vary Permissions.  A copy of the correspondence (de-personalised) received by one firm is attached.  Some firms will, legitimately, declare a ‘nil return’ for regulated income within their RMARs they might receive this letter as a matter of course; for example, a firm that is a secondary intermediary, carrying on regulated activities, but currently not earning any income from the regulated activities that they carry out.

The consultation will run until 29th October 2021.  We recommend that firms read and respond to the consultation by 29 October 2021.  Viewed alongside the recently published decision-making consultation mentioned above, this appears to be the next step in perhaps a gradual process of the FCA transforming into a far more intrusive Regulator that will have power in its own right to intervene to prevent firms causing customer harm.

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