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FCA issues metrics update for authorisation timescales

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

On 21 March 2023 the FCA published an update on its operating service metrics for dealing with various applications, including authorisation, change in control and approved persons applications. These service metrics highlight the regulator's commitment to improving the authorisation process.

Using a RAG (Red/Amber/Green) rating system to show the current metrics status for authorisations there were 12 green, 5 amber and 2 red in January/ February 2023, though the regulator hopes to see yet further improvements in authorisations by the end of March.

To help the authorisation process an additional 125 additional permanent colleagues have now been recruited (vs 95 in October). Case loads have fallen from a peak of 12,500 in December 2021 to 5,500 and are at a more sustainable level. Case officers are also allocated quicker, allowing the more straight-foward authorisations to be determined quicker.

There are four areas where the regulator states it is not yet meeting its targets in January / February 2023.These are as follows:

  1. Approved Persons Applications within the 3 month timescale (Amber, but significantly improved to 2021/2022)

  2. Change in Control applications (now very close to target - currently the regulator allocates and begins work on Change in Control notifications within 3 days of receipt on average and expects to be allocating within 24 hours by the end of March 2023)

  3. New Firm Authorisations (expected to meet the metric by the end of March 2023, barring regulatory reasons or poor applications forms)

  4. Payment Services and E-Money authorisations, registrations, and notifications (delayed sometimes by incomplete and poor-quality applications)

Complete and high quality applications will ensure a smoother authorisation process for all firms.

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