What is an FCA Approved Person?
Once you have completed your online FCA Authorisation Application you will then be prompted to submit an Approved Persons Application. You have to complete this additional application form.
An ‘approved person’ is an individual who has been approved by the FCA to perform one or more controlled functions on behalf of your business. For most CCS retailers this is likely to be just one or two individuals such as the Managing Director and the Operations Manager (larger or more complex businesses may need to have more approved persons).
Approval must be obtained from the FCA before a person can perform a controlled function. A list of controlled functions can be found on the FCA’s website.
The FCA will only grant approval if you can demonstrate that each approved person candidate is fit and proper to perform the controlled function applied for. In other words, the FCA must be satisfied that the candidate:
- Will be open and honest in his/her dealings & able to comply with the requirements imposed on him/her (honesty, integrity & reputation)
- Has the necessary skills to carry on the function he/she is to perform (competency & capability)
- Is financially sound
What are the FCA’s expectations?
- Any candidates applying for Approved Persons status must understand the importance of establishing an open and honest relationship with the FCA from the outset.
- The Fitness and Propriety section of the Application Form asks questions that require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer as to whether a particular action took place or not, rather than whether the candidate felt the action was justified.
- A number of the questions in the Fitness and Propriety Section of the Application Form include the word ‘ever’ meaning that the required answers are not restricted to a specified period of time.
- Firms must not make an assessment on whether to disclose a matter, and should disclose all information in the Supplementary Information section of the application. If you believe that a disclosure may not affect an individual’s fitness and propriety, you can provide additional information explaining why.
- When determining fitness and propriety, the FCA will take into account the particular controlled function which the individual is to perform and the activities of your business.
Before you submit your application
The onus is on your business to provide sufficient information on the Approved Persons Application Form to satisfy the FCA that the candidate is fit and proper. You should be prepared to provide the FCA with details about the due diligence undertaken, the references obtained, and the rationale used to conclude that the candidate is fit and proper.
The application will need to be signed on behalf of your business (as it is the FCA Authorisation applicant) and by the approved person candidates.
How long does approval take?
The FCA has a statutory obligation to determine applications within 90 days.