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FCA to move faster to remove unused financial services firm permissions

This January the FCA reminded financial services firms of their obligation to review regulatory permissions and ensure they are up to date or removed if not needed.

By reviewing their permissions firms can be confident they are meeting their obligations under the Senior Managers Regime as well as providing accurate information to consumers. Outdated or inaccurate information on the Financial Services Register however can provide false assurances to consumers about the level of protection offered by a firm or give credibility to unregulated activities.

This month however the FCA published draft guidance on a new power that will allow it to move faster to remove regulatory permissions not in use. The regulator will be able to start the cancellation process as soon as it considers permissions are not being used, by serving 14 days’ notice on a firm. The FCA will then be able to vary or cancel permissions after 1 month.

As part of transformative changes to its decision-making and governance to enable the regulator to make faster and more effective decisions Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said:

We want to use this power to take quicker action to prevent consumers being misled... and unless firms notify us and keep their permissions up to date, they will risk losing market access."

The consultation will run until 29 October 2021.

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