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17 April 2018

he average time taken to get authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority has continued to fall after the regulator took action to address a backlog.

Between October and December 2017 the average processing time for an application for authorisation to work in the financial services sector was 11 weeks.

This is around a month less than between January and March 2017 when it took an average of around 15 weeks for an application for retail authorisation to be determined.

It is also a fall of around three months over the past two years, with the average application period between April and June 2016 being slightly less than 25 weeks.

The FCA said: “The number of cases beyond service standard continues to reduce and reflects remaining complex consumer credit and peer-to-peer firms. There remain a very small number of outstanding decisions in this population.

“For retail and consumer credit cases, the increase in work in progress is a result of a decrease in determination volume reflecting seasonal factors.”

The average amount of time taken to process a variation of permission application increased to just above 10 weeks – up from eight weeks in the previous quarter.

The FCA said this was because it was currently handling a large volume of applications from consumer credit firms, which it became responsible for in 2014 when the Office of Fair Trading was dissolved.

The regulator said: “A small number of long-standing cases from the transfer of regulation from the OFT continue to be determined each quarter, resulting in breaches of service standard – these cases involve a high degree of complexity, interaction with other authorities and/or refusals.”

Taken from the FT Adviser

By David Petty

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