In November, the FCA will be launching an Asset Management Authorisation Hub (the “Hub”) designed to assist new firms through the FCA authorisation process. In 2016 alone, the FCA approved 204 authorisation applications for asset managers. The establishment of this Hub comes as a result of criticism that regulators and applicable rules can make it difficult for new entrants to access the market.
The confusion and difficultly that investment managers are facing when applying for authorisation is evident by the number of pre and post application calls received by the FCA’s contact centre which can reach up to 1,200 calls a month.
The Hub intends to achieve the following objectives:
- clarifying expectations by providing better guidance on the regulation and processes;
- creating a dedicated portal for investment managers on the FCA’s website to make access to information easier;
- foster positive and personalised communications between the FCA and market entrants; and
- provide end-to-end support for start-ups.
Once the Hub is up and running, new firms will be offered pre-application meetings, dedicated case officers and access to the website portal and then once authorised, firms will be able to engage directly with FCA supervisors.
The intention is to enhance the Hub next year to expand the support offering by publishing more detailed information on entry criteria’s and providing firms with the ability to book pre-application meetings online. The FCA have emphasised that this additional support should not be construed as changing or lowering the entry requirements to authorisation, it is solely to better facilitate a firm’s authorisation process.
The FCA’s speech, ‘Where next for investment and asset management regulation?’ discusses the Hub in more detail, please click here to access.
For more information, and any guidance or advice on becoming authorised by the FCA, Cleveland & Co, your External in-house counsel, are here to help.