Frequently Asked Questions

FCA Authorisation

How long does it take to become FCA authorised?

It takes approximately 6-12 months to become FCA authorised. The timeframe depends on how quickly the main FCA application forms and supporting documents (including business plan and financial projections) are collated and how long it takes for an FCA case officer to be assigned. Thereafter, the time scale will depend on the number of queries raised by the FCA in relation to a firm’s application. Some firms have been approved sooner. It helps to prepare a complete file from the outset.

What are the FCA's fees (initial and ongoing) to become authorised?

The initial application filing fee that firms will have to pay depends on whether the firm’s application is straightforward (£1,500), moderately complex (£5,000) or complex (£25,000).

The applicant firms will also have to pay an annual FCA fee which is calculated on the basis of the firms regulated activities, volume of business and how expensive the firm’s business is to regulate. As an example, the annual fee for an investment management firm could be based on the number of funds it manages and the expected annual income for the firm.

What documents are needed once you obtain your FCA authorisation?

Depending on the type of regulated status you are applying for, you will have to fill out the relevant FCA application forms, which Laven Partners will help you complete. A large number of supporting documents are required to be submitted including a detailed business plan, financial projections, a business disaster recovery plan, CVs and passports for all Approved Persons, client agreements and details of service providers.

What documents are needed once you obtain your FCA authorisation?

As soon as your firm becomes FCA authorised, you will need to have in place a compliance manual, compliance monitoring plan, financial crime policy, treating customers fairly policy and any other policies which are required for the regulated activities of the firm. For investment management firms these policies normally cover risk management, remuneration, conflicts of interest, and valuation topics.

How can we help you with your FCA wholesale firm authorisation?

We can assist your firm throughout the entire FCA authorisation process. We initially propose a meeting with new clients to scope out the type of FCA authorisation they are seeking to apply for. After this, we can assist with drafting the first suite of application forms and supporting documents and provide you with guidance as to how to complete your business plan. Once the documents are finalised, we will make the submission to the FCA and deal with any questions the FCA case officer may have. Once your firm has obtained FCA regulated status, we can assist with ongoing compliance support (view Ongoing Compliance FAQs below).

Ongoing Compliance

What type of FCA compliance services does Laven Partners offer on an ongoing basis?

We offer ongoing compliance regulatory support to firms that have obtained wholesale FCA authorisation. Our ongoing services are primarily provided through our in-house RegTech software, the Digital Compliance Assistant, which includes a maintained compliance manual, a quarterly monitoring plan, access to compliance registers and employee-specific records and attestations. We also offer assistance on answering FCA queries and any other compliance queries you may have about existing and upcoming regulations.

What should we do if we want to change our firm's regulatory permissions?

If you are currently FCA authorised and wish to change your regulatory permissions, for example, as a result of changes to your business, you will need to apply to the FCA for a Variation of Permission (VoP). We can assist your firm with preparing the relevant VoP forms and supporting documentation.

How much does a Variation of Permission cost and how long does it take to get an approval?

A VoP for new regulated activities is normally half of the price of a new authorisation for the same activities, e.g. when applying for new activities for which the FCA authorisation fee is £5,000, the FCA VoP application would cost £2,500. If the VoP does not move the firm into a new fee block, the FCA filing fee will be £250. If the firm is seeking to reduce the regulated activities, the FCA filing fee will be free.

The duration of the VoP application is entirely dependent on the FCA and the firm that is supplying information to the FCA. It can take anywhere between 2 – 12 months. If the application is deemed incomplete the FCA has a statutory right to push the deadline further until a complete application has been provided. This is true for all applications made to the FCA.

Specific regulatory compliance advice

If we have a specific query about a regulation, such as MiFID II or GDPR, can Laven Partners help?

Yes, we offer advisory services to firms which require regulatory compliance advice. Feel free to let us know what specific questions you may have and we will then work with your team to scope out what we can do to assist. Once you engage us, we will work closely with your team to provide solutions in a timely and efficient manner.

Latest from the Newsroom


GDPR in full force days after deadline

The GDPR is, at the time of writing, exactly 6 days old and some of (more...)



THE BROKER DEALER QUESTION Micah A. Taylor for Institute of Compliance Accessing US Capital private (more...)


GDPR: Does your company need an EU representative according to Article 27?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to come into force on 25 May (more...)