A quick guide to the FCA’s online application process by Business Development Manager David Grant
The following notes have been put together to assist with submitting your application for full authorisation.
1) Getting started
To get started click on http://www.fca.org.uk/firms/firm-types/consumer-credit/authorisation. Then scroll down the page to Step 4 & Apply for “New User Registration”.
Click the “Apply Now” button. If it’s the first time you’ve used the website then click the “Register to authorise a new firm” link. A window will open for you to register your details.
Once the form is submitted, the FCA will send you an email. On receipt of the email, click the link and create a password.
You can then log in and start your application. You will be asked a series of simple questions including whether you want to apply for Full Authorisation or Limited Permission.
In short, full authorisation is required for businesses that sell “off trade” in the customer’s home while limited permission is required by businesses that sell “on trade” from showrooms or offices (in other words, price is not agreed or finance is NEVER discussed in the customer’s home).
If you have any doubts then please refer to your CCS BDM for guidance on whether Full or Limited is required. If you apply for the wrong permission then it will delay the approval process.
2) Completing the application
If you’re applying for full authorisation then you will need to collate and submit the following information.
Application Contact & Firm Details:
- This is self-explanatory, although you MUST make sure you enter your company details EXACTLY as they are registered with Companies House (i.e. Ltd not Limited for example).
Permission & Fees:
- Tick the first three & the first one of the boxes at the bottom of the page (canvass off trade premises).
- Make sure the “income from Regulated activities” is reasonably accurate.
- Please request an “Income Calculator” from your CCS BDM and ensure that the figure here is your INCOME FROM REGULATED ACTIVITIES & NOT YOUR TOTAL FINANCE VOLUME. A company writing mainly “promotional credit” business may have a negative figure here.
Consumer Credit Supplement:
- Your Business Plan required here (this submission page will refer to the minimum required information and it’s suggested that you refer to the CCS template).
- Unregulated business is NON Finance sales = Cash sales.
- You will need to include a description of your ‘initial disclosure’ document (which may be the Choices of Funding Form if you use it within your business) along the lines of:
Our initial disclosure document includes the following statements – We act as a credit broker and offer products from one/more than one lender. We offer their products to help you make your purchase. We are not paid any commission by the lenders. The Choices of Funding Form includes an explanation of the finance options available, so customers can make an informed decision. We do not provide advice in this regard. A sample form is attached in the supporting documents section.
- Need to attach Accounting information as follows:
- Balance Sheet on Authorisation
- Balance Sheet 12 months from Authorisation
- Monthly Cash Flow to 12 months from Authorisation
- Profit & Loss 12 months from Authorisation
- Most up to date Accounts or Draft/Management Accounts if too old
It is a good idea for you to pre-empt your Accountant so these can be prepared & not last minute.
Disclosure of significant events:
Systems & Controls:
- Self-explanatory (includes what Accounts system & windows system the Retailer uses).
- Attach Compliance Monitoring Programme (CCS Template).
- Simple Staff Organisation Chart to be attached. This may also be included in your business plan.
Owners & Influencers :
- A Controller is anyone who owns 20% + of share capital.
- Can be left blank, though you could attach Choices of Funding, TCF Policy, Money Laundering Policy, Vulnerable Persons Policy, for example, although it may be best to simply include these in your business plan.
- Only becomes “active” once all of the above & “Related Applications” are complete.
Add Related Application:
- This is dependent on the answers in “Owners & Influencers” section. An Application must be completed for each Director choosing a “Controlled Function” and any Controller. This is explained on the Application when “Owners & Influencers” section is completed.
- Requires Name, Address, DOB, NI Number, Employment History & CV.
If you need any assistance with your FCA application then please contact your Business Development Manager.