Category Archives: PSD2

Payments Business? Have Your Say! Don’t Miss This

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Payments Business? Have Your Say! Don’t Miss This!

Get the lowdown on the FCA Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) Consultation Paper plans. Download the free brochure here.

If you have any areas of concern, please call us on 0207 097 1434 or email info@complianceconsultant.org

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Actual Google Review

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FCA Fine? You may be in good company!

Compliance Monitoring Plan template

FCA Fine? You may be in good company!

Penalties for regulatory compliance breaches can be eye-watering in scale.

2020 largest Fines
1. Goldman Sachs International (fined £97m)
PRIN 2 and PRIN 3 breaches – Risk management failures

2. Lloyds Bank, BoS & The Mortgage Business (fined £64m)
PRIN 3 & 6 breaches – Poor handing of mortgage customers

3. Commerzbank (fined £37.8m)
PRIN 3 breaches – AML failings

4. Barclays (fined £26m)
PRIN 6, PRIN 3, and CONC rules breaches – unfair treatment of customers in the Retail Banking sector

5. Charles Schwab (fined £8.96m)
PRIN 10 and 11, CASS and Section 20 FSMA breaches – Safeguarding and Compliance Issues

6. Moneybarn (fined £2.8m)
PRIN 6 & 7 and CONC rules breaches – Unfair treatment of customers

How could these fines have been avoided?

The FCA’s ‘Principles for Business’ (PRIN) set out the fundamental obligations for firms under the regulatory regime.

According to the FCA principle 3, a firm ‘must take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively, with adequate risk management systems’.

This refers to a firm’s:

  • Robust governance arrangements – rules, practice and processes. How Can We Help? We can review your arrangements.
    Skills, knowledge and expertise of staff – in other words train people!
  • Outsourcing responsibilities – know your suppliers and make sure they are compliant. How Can We Help? We can review your arrangements.
  • Reasonable steps – under SMCR you need to ensure you have decision making fully and appropriately records. How Can We Help? We can review your arrangements.
  • Record-keeping – keep records, and make sure they are accurate and up-to-date. How Can We Help? We can review your arrangements.
  • Conduct Risk – keep records of any T&C breaches, mis-selling, product design etc. How Can We Help? We can review your arrangements.
  • Conflicts of interest – keep a compliance register to avoid issues. How Can We Help? We can review your arrangements. 

The FCA will identify potential or actual consumer harm caused by the actions of firms or markets and take action to address that conduct. These penalties should act as a clear warning to any companies who aren’t taking financial compliance as seriously as they should be.

If you would like to have any of your processes, files, procedures, governance or strategy planning reviewed, in confidence, we can be contacted on the above number. Or, just complete the form below.


     

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    PSD2 Guide To Safeguarding & Wind Down Planning

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    PSD2 Guide To Safeguarding & Wind Down PlanningCompliance consultants London - PSD2 Safeguarding & Wind Down

    Download Our FREE Guide By Completing The Form Below!

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      Compliance Support Services Explained

      Once your organisation has accomplished authorisation, you’re dedicated to satisfy a variety of on-going FCA compliance responsibilities. Companies either pick our consultancy services to help resolve specific issues or to handle the effect and impact of new policy or we tailor a retainer agreement to satisfy their particular continuous requirements.

      Retainer agreement
      Our extremely skilled group of compliance specialists have market and regulatory backgrounds supplying an unique mix of skillsets and giving you the confidence that your continuous regulatory responsibilities will be satisfied to a high expert requirement.

      With retainer service contracts separately tailored to your organisation we provide an agreed service delivery and schedule. Having operated in your sector, our professionals understand your compliance obstacles and opportunities. They share their backgrounds and understanding to solve issues; so you reap the benefits of a unique sum total of competence.
      Supplying you with budget certainty and on-demand access to an extremely trustworthy compliance partner and a topic expert panel, usually, our retainer contracts include:
      • Compliance management; setting up and your Compliance Monitoring Programme, including automating it if required.
      • Compliance audits; independent bench-mark reviews and health-checks to make certain your systems, controls, policies and regulatory procedures are kept up to date
      • Documents/Governance; such as policies and written processes or procedures
      • Financial promotions including initial reviews and ongoing assessments or critiques, including video and social media marketing
      • Training; e.g., informing personnel on anti-money laundering or assisting senior management create a suitable governance framework
      • Regulatory reporting; consisting of GABRIEL returns and evaluation of prudential requirements
      • For Payment Services companies based on PSD2, we provide distinct service plans particularly created satisfy the increased regulatory needs and responsibilities.
      • And Capital Market companies gain from a specific methodology which permits us to craft a bespoke, flexible assistance package
      • Companies fall into the Asset Management, Broker Dealers & Traders, Corporate Finance, Crowdfunding, FinTech, Infrastructure, Investment Management, P2P Lending, Private Equity, Venture Capital and Wealth Management can all benefit from individual; and tailored packages.

      Contact us today on 0207 097 1434 or email info@complianceconsultant.org

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        Safeguarding Accounts – How Well Do You Keep Yours?

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        In Summer 2019, the FCA Issued A Dear CEO Letter To All Payment Companies Regarding Their Safeguarding Accounts and Their Management of Them.

        Nearly 18 months on, have you changed your safeguarding methods?

        As A Reminder, The Key Findings Were;

        1. How well firms understood which funds are ‘relevant funds’

        The FCA‘s review found that some firms were completely unable to explain which payment services they were providing and some were unable to identify when they were issuing e-money, whilst some others were unclear as to whether they were acting as agent or distributor for another PSP. This meant they could not accurately identify relevant funds, and as such, they did not know if or whether they were safeguarding the correct amount of relevant funds.

        2. Effectiveness of firms’ safeguarding procedures and documentation

        The FCA expects firms to maintain sufficient records to demonstrate compliance with their safeguarding obligations, and to have a documented rationale for every decision they make about their safeguarding process and the systems and controls they have in place.

        The FCA found some firms relied on operational process documents which simply outlined the rules. The FCA considers that this does not sufficiently demonstrate a firm’s compliance with safeguarding obligations or record keeping requirements.

        3. How well firms met the FCA‘s expectations on segregating funds

        The obligation on firms to safeguard starts as soon as they receive relevant funds. The FCA expects firms to segregate relevant funds by receiving them into a separate account. Where, for customer convenience, any other funds are paid into the account, they should be removed as frequently as practicable throughout the day. In no circumstances should such funds be kept together overnight.

        The FCA found that not all firms complied with these requirements, and in particular, some did not attempt to segregate relevant funds on receipt.

        4. How effectively agents and distributors were overseen

        Firms should have arrangements in place to ensure that relevant funds held by agents or distributors are safeguarded as soon as they are received.

        The FCA found that some firms did not take any measures to ensure that they were segregated on receipt. Other firms calculated their safeguarding obligation at the end of the business day on which e-money was issued and transferred funds into a safeguarding account the next business day. This meant that relevant funds were combined with other non-relevant funds overnight.

        5. Designating safeguarding accounts

        Accounts in which relevant funds or assets are placed must be designated in a way that shows it is a safeguarding account. If this is not possible, the FCA expects e-money and payment institutions to provide evidence (such as a letter) confirming the appropriate designation.

        The FCA found the account designations were not clear for several firms. Instead, the accounts were named according to their operational function or after the relevant agent or distributor.

        6. How effectively firms carried out reconciliations

        Firms must carry out internal and external reconciliations as often as necessary, considering the risks to which the business is exposed, and should have a clear explanation for their approach to reconciliations (which must be signed off by their board of directors).

        The FCA highlights that in no circumstances would it be acceptable for a firm to carry reconciliation less than once during each business day.

        The reconciliation should result in the amount of funds or assets safeguarded being:

        • sufficient to cover the amount that the institution would need to safeguard before the next reconciliation; and
        • not excessive – to minimise risks from commingling.

        The FCA found that several firms did not carry out internal and external reconciliations, or did so infrequently, or did not adjust the balance of their safeguarded accounts in a timely way when they identified discrepancies. This resulted in the commingling of funds overnight.

        7. The effectiveness of firms’ governance and oversight arrangements

        Firms must have in place effective risk management procedures, adequate internal control mechanisms and maintain relevant records. Firms should monitor these procedures through robust governance arrangements. In addition, organisational arrangements must be sufficient to minimise the risk of the loss or diminution of relevant funds or assets through fraud, misuse, negligence or poor administration.

        The FCA found some firms considered safeguarding risk only on an exceptions basis and would only revisit their processes if they identified a breach. In some cases, the FCA found controls to identify a safeguarding breach were not fit for purpose. This meant these firms did not adequately consider safeguarding when developing new products, leading to inadequate safeguarding processes.

        Dear CEO Letter and FCA attestation

        The FCA published a Dear CEO Letter on 4th July 2019 requiring all electronic money institutions and authorised payment institutions to review their safeguarding arrangements, to make sure they fully meet the requirements in the EMRs and PSRs (as applicable).

        The FCA has asked firms to:

        • attest to the FCA that they are satisfied that they meet the requirements in regulation 23 of the PSRs or regulation 20 of the EMRs by 31st July 2019. Firms that are un-able to attest by this date should contact the FCA to discuss next steps; or
        • notify the FCA immediately if they are non-compliant in any material respect and take prompt remedial action.

        The FCA will be conducting further work on firms’ safeguarding arrangements, and expects to see that firms have acted to review, and where necessary, remediate their processes. The FCA has said it will take appropriate action against firms with inadequate safeguarding arrangements.

         

        If you have any concerns about your procedures or want them independently checked, call us today on 0207 097 1434

        Original text from https://gowlingwlg.com/

        Safeguarding Accounts, Safeguarding Your Accounts

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        UK Financial Services Compliance ‘Premium Access Retainer Service’

         

        We offer a Premium Access Retainer Service

        Providing Your Firm With Fast, Accurate, Experience Based Quality Answers So You Can Move Ahead With Your Business Efficiently and Profitably.

        We have a bespoke service starting from £600 pm.

        Our Full Services Obviously Has The Following 11 Benefits;

        1. You will get a response within 3 hours by phone or email/text.

        2. From PBR, S165 or S166 (we were appointed as skilled persons in 2012), we will advise and make recommendations regarding what is required.

        3. Your issues take priority over other work whilst we respond to your query; additional research or further work that may be required will be quoted on.

        4. Products like our best-selling Compliance Manual/AML Policy & Procedures are provided at a heavy discount typically around 40%.

        5. Any services we offer is again heavily discounted from 5  – 20%.

        6. Normal service is mainstream hours Monday to Friday but weekends and evenings are ad-hoc, although we often can be found working into the night or across the weekends at some point. Holidays excepted, but happy to take emergency calls.

        7. You will receive a monthly “Statement of account” before the next billing cycle or after a purchase.

        8. We work on a first come, first served basis, so anyone paying ‘Premium Retainer’ for the longer time, gets priority over the other Premium Retainer clients – if push comes to shove and we are snowed under.

        9. We occasionally have marketing promotions, and you get free gifts and/or free or heavily discounted event tickets for anything run by us.

        10. Also available for discussions on business strategy and marketing; areas we are also often asked about.

        11. 30 min telephone/video call per month to discuss your regulatory needs or issues.

        We only take on a maximum of 12 new clients per quarter. If you are too late for this quarter, we

         

        will add you to the list for the next quarter on a first-come-first-served basis.

        Monthly cost = £1,150 subject to firm size of less than 20 staff inc directors/partners.

          FCA Authorisation Consultants London – PSD2


          FCA Authorisation Assessment Report

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          What Does A Regulatory Business Plan Need To Say?

          A Regulatory Business Plan (RPB) Is Your Showcase To Demonstrate Understanding & Forethought.

          The RBP should demonstrate that the targets set by the candidate are realistic, as well as financially and operationally manageable.

          Some fundamental questions that the RBP must answer

          Why you? The RBP could create a poor impression if it does not describe to the regulator its intended market and comparative advantage: whether it would offer something new to the market and the elements of its services/products that would make them stand out from their competitors.

          Answer this – “why are you best positioned to offer and deliver on this proposition?”

          You against the others: A competitive idea and promising business case is backed up with research and facts. This is a challenging part of the project; the candidate’s RBP must demonstrate that there is a market for their products and services, and also be aware of the competition and their expected share in the market.

          Vitally, the RBP must also demonstrate its understanding of the dynamics of the specific market and how the proposed business will meet customer needs.

          Known unknowns: Here, the question is how candidates will approach the problem of partial or unavailable information. Some RBPs are extremely ambitious about their target markets and customers; some others are optimistic as to the costs of running a business, especially operational costs and this may lead to expected costs being presented in a superficial manner in the RBP.

          All projections and estimates must be backed by thorough and trustworthy market research or accurate business information.

          From a regulator’s perspective, stating all the possible expenses and potential financial needs in the RBP provides a useful starting point into assessing business model viability. It also demonstrates that the applicant has a sound grasp of its figures and market.

          A start-up may not have all the information to-hand on day-one when it meets the regulator, but it should have reasonable estimates and a plan of the timeline and actions to get this information and must integrate it into the plan before submitting it.

          New entrants will have to describe in their plan how they will comply with complex prudential and conduct regulations. This is not easy, even the UK’s most established institutions have got themselves into significant difficulties due to regulatory breaches.

          We provide all FCA Authorisation applicants with a template business plan with not only headings, but additionally pointers and ideas of what needs to be involved.

          Ask us for details – complete the form below.




          You May Also Be Interested In;

          What Is A Regulatory Business Plan? Why Is It Important? https://wp.me/p7OMfd-3VP

          Professional FCA Authorisations, Registrations & Licencing https://www.complianceconsultant.org/fca-authorisations-registrations-licencing/

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          Why is FCA Authorisation/Certification/Licensing Important?

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          THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTHORISATION

          Authorisation is one of the key techniques used by the FCA to regulate financial services.

          It attempts to efficiently identify and mitigate harm and combines the four stages detailed below to achieve this:
          • Identify current or potential harm
          • Determine the cause, extent and potential development of harm
          • Examine all remedy tools, decide which can resolve or mitigate harm cost effectively
          • Evaluate the potency of harm
          The threshold conditions are the main regulatory tool operated to achieve this. These lay out the minimum standard that firms and its individuals need to have to satisfy so as to be granted authorisation.
          Following this, the authorised firm or individual is shared online in the FCA financial services register. They are also relied upon to keep up these standards, or they risk losing their permissions or authorisation, in the case of an individual.

          HOW FIRMS ARE EVALUATED AGAINST THE THRESHOLD CONDITIONS (COND).

          Judgements are made based on facts, and as such each application is assessed on a case by case basis as some may be more complex than others. In doing so, the FCA considers the following factors.
          Location of offices: the firm’s head office must be located in the UK, however, it considers the location of the firm’s directors rather than the location of the office as stated on Companies House.
          Appropriate resources: this includes capital adequacy requirements, for instance, along with skilled individuals.
          Ability for firms to be supervised effectively: particularly, the complexity of business structures and how this will impact the authorised business.
          Conduct: this connects with the fitness and propriety of the firm and its individuals to operate the activities for which they seek authorisation.
          Business model: this concerns how the firm makes its money and future business strategy.
          Along with information provided, the regulator will also use a range of additional information, including:.
          • Existing information held.
          • Market research and intelligence.
          • FCA contact centre information and facts, complaints and FOS data.
          • Experience supervising similar firms.
          • Specific information held on the firm or individual (which would include previous judgements).
          A proportionate approach.
          The FCA apply their judgement, based upon these facts, to determine whether firms and individuals meet the conditions. Some judgements might be relatively simple to make. Others are harder.
          The FCA will also consider the principles of good regulation, including proportionality, and recognise the differences in the companies of regulated firms and individuals. In their approach to authorisation, they see to it that the information they demand from firms and their level of scrutiny is proportionate to the actual or potential harm they could lead to. They consider a range of factors. These include the sector the firm operates in, its activities, its business model, the size of the firm (based upon customer numbers), financial metrics, scale and risk to market stability, and any negative intelligence.
          The regulator will only require firms to furnish them with information that they rationally require to help them analyze whether it meets their minimum standards. The FCA will already keep information on firms they have previously authorised to provide specific financial services. If these firms later apply to vary the sorts of regulated services they provide, then the FCA will only call for additional information that is directly relevant to the new activities to make their assessment. If they have reason to believe that the risk of harm a firm poses is above they would normally expect, then they may increase their level of review and require the firm to provide much more information. This may come about if, for example, their initial assessment shows cause for issue.
          Similarly, if they decide that the risk of harm is lower than they would normally expect, they can reduce the level of their scrutiny. In all cases, firms must definitely still meet their minimum standards. It is crucial that firms understand the Threshold Conditions and Fit and Proper test when they make their application for authorisation. This next section aims to help explain what a number of these conditions mean.
          Assessing firms. In assessing firms the FCA make judgements based on the facts of each case. As an example, one condition for authorisation is that the head office of a UK incorporated company should be in the UK. Because there is no definition of ‘head office’, they use their judgement to decide whether the condition is met. A key factor they consider is the location of the directors and senior management who take material day-to-day decisions about the firm’s central direction.
          A different condition for authorisation is that a firm must have appropriate resources, and this means much more than purely funds. When assessing a firm’s funds, they expect it to meet several tests. For instance, it should expect to meet its liabilities as they fall due and the controllers of the firm should be solvent. However, this does not mean that a firm must consistently project profitability within a certain amount of time from authorisation but that it will always have sufficient capital and liquid resources available to it.
          The FCA recognise that not all firms will achieve success; some will fail. Their assessment tests that, should a firm fail, it would do this in an orderly way, so that its withdrawal from the market protects against or minimises risk to consumers and market integrity.
          Where relevant, their assessment also gauges the influence on a firm’s financial resources of belonging to a group.
          While they will take a firm’s finances into account when assessing whether it meets this condition, they will also consider the skills and experience of people in key roles. They will also assess how adequately the firm’s policies, procedures and systems, as an example, manage customers in financial difficulty, and its systems for safeguarding sensitive customer data and helping prevent financial crime.
          Assessing individuals
          The fit and proper test is a benchmark used to assess whether individuals appropriate to perform senior management functions or controlled functions. Firms subject to the SM&CR (eg all from 9th December 2019) are accountable for their own fit and proper assessment of individuals who hold senior management and certified functions. The FCA approve an individual only when we are satisfied they are fit and proper to perform the senior management functions or controlled functions that they have made an application for.
          If the FCA are aware of something that suggests that an individual might not be fit and proper, they will consider how relevant and how important it is to the senior management function or controlled function requested.
          Solo-regulated firms should conduct their own due diligence for a person they want to appoint in a controlled function before submitting applications to the FCA. Under the current FCA Approved Persons Regime (APR), they necessitate the firm to perform appropriate checks, but they do not specify what they should be.
          This allows firms the flexibility to undertake them in a variety of ways. In implementing the SM&CR, the FCA and PRA have strengthened the checks that firms must perform, these checks include requiring regulatory references. For Senior Managers, a criminal record check is required. Additionally, the FCA also require each Senior Manager to have a formal Statement of Responsibilities setting out the areas for which they are responsible.
          Different requirements relate to dual-regulated firms, which must get both FCA and PRA approval to appoint people to the most senior roles. These roles include, but are not limited to Chair, Chief Executive and Chair of the Audit Committee.
          The FCA, along with the PRA where applicable, may interview individuals for roles that pose the most significant risk of harm, for instance, a Chair or Chief Executive of a dual-regulated bank or insurance company, to satisfy them that the individual is fit and proper. After authorisation, the regulators will hold them to account if there is misconduct at their firms. While their assessments in these cases will be different to the PRA’s, as they have different statutory objectives, they will continue to work closely with the PRA to minimise the administrative burden on firms.
          When looking into whether individuals in key roles are suitable, the FCA assess if the people who will manage the business have the right skills and experience to do so without harming consumers or market integrity. They will examine the connections these people have with others outside the business, to ensure that the firm is not actually controlled from behind the scenes by people they have not approved. They also consider an individual’s history, including but not limited to, an individual’s employment and regulatory history and whether they have been involved
          in misconduct, or any criminal activity or adverse civil proceedings.
          While previous misconduct will be considered as portion of an application for an individual approval, it is not an automatic bar to being approved. The severity of the misconduct and time that has elapsed, the efforts taken to rehabilitate, the nature of the role applied for, and the controls in place to oversee the individuals conduct will all be considerations.
          The FCA expect firms to take regulation seriously and plan how they will meet the standards of the regulatory system before they apply. When they consider the extent to which a firm has planned ahead they ask themselves whether the applicant is ready, willing and organised to be authorised as follows:

          Ready

          They will consider what preparation the applicant has done to submit their application.
          Positive indicators include:
          – reading information on our website
          – making enquiries of the Contact Centre
          – seeking legal/compliance advice
          – being able to clearly articulate their regulatory obligations

          Willing

          They will consider the attitude of the applicant during the authorisation process.
          Positive indicators include:
          – being open and honest in all their dealings with us
          – being proactive about getting information to us
          – demonstrating initiative to understand their regulatory duties
          – timeliness and availability of staff to deal with queries about the application
          They are aware that while an applicant may be willing to correct mistakes or gaps in their application, they must also have satisfied the readiness question. They do not believe it is sufficient for an applicant to submit a poor application but show they are willing, with help from us, to address any deficiencies.

          Organised

          Firms should ensure that they have all the supporting documentation prepared and have the necessary arrangements in place to comply with regulations from the day they are authorised.
          They will consider the following:
          – why the applicant has applied now
          – what is left outstanding that would prevent the firm from carrying on the activity they have applied for
          – if the applicant were authorised today, would they be able to carry out the activity they have applied for

          REFUSALS AND CANCELLATIONS

          The FCA outlines how they will refuse applications where firms have failed to meet the minimum thresholds. The firm or individual will first receive a ‘minded to refuse’ letter stating the reasons why the case officer is considering refusal. For the most part the firm or individual will withdraw its application at this stage.
          The Regulatory Transactions Committee (independent of the Application Assessment Team) decides on any refusal/ cancellations.
          Firms and individuals can challenge decisions made against them by providing more evidence or at an interview. Challenges may possibly be made to the Regulatory Decisions Committee (independent committee that operates separately to the regulator).
          If they decide the refusal stands, the applicant can refer the case to the upper-tribunal in order to fully exhausts the appeals process.

          To prepare, complete, submit and assist you throughout the FCA Authorisation process, come to the compliance authorisation consultants and specialists to obtain the certification or licence you are looking for.

          Call us now on 0207 097 1434 or email authorisation@complianceconsultant.org


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          FAQs for FCA Authorisation

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          These are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about setting up a business and getting FCA Authorisation with us as compliance consultants, assisting them in their project.

          These questions are not exhaustive, but you can always email us at startup@complianceconsultant.org

          1. Is your firm registered with FCA? If so, what is the reference number? No, we are a consultancy and conduct no regulated activities, so we do not need to be authorised by the regulator. Please Google “Compliance Consultants, London” and you will find us listed near the top with 5* ratings.
           
          2. Based on your past experiences, what are the possible obstacles of getting the authorisation? You will need a comprehensive regulatory business plan (which we can provide) and the Threshold Conditions have to be met. Once the UK MD is in place and they have a plan on setting up, most obstacles can be identified and mitigated. For a regulatory perspective it is the Threshold Conditions and experienced staff that are vital to the start-up. You may need to front costs for an MD,CFO and COO for up to a year (or possibly longer) before authorisation is obtained. It is vital to have a regulatory adviser (us) also available but on an as and when required basis.
           
          3. If you take our case, will you be able to guarantee that you will be able to help my team to obtain the FCA license? Nobody can guarantee FCA approval. We can guarantee helping, but the approval at the end of the day is not due to a formula. If you have experienced people in the UK running the business and the business model is sound, then there is every chance of success.

          4. Will you be able to help us to recruit qualified UK based directors, if so how will this be conducted?  Yes, we can work with recruitment consultants on this for you.

          5. Will you be able to help us to prepare and pass the FCA interviews? Yes, the interviews may or may not be required, but we are used to briefing candidates for positions. The Compliance Director and MD are usually called for interview above any others. 
           
          6. Will you able to help us to complete all the Legal terms and affairs? Yes, we can assist by using lawyers here that are FCA experienced. The lawyer costs will be extra. We can source costs for you.
           
          7. What preparations or documents do we have to prepare in advance and bring/send to the U.K.? We will need to see your existing business plan and full details of your existing company; website, incorporation documents,directors CVs etc, normal business due diligence material. ALSO we will need contact details of the company (no Yahoo/Gmail accounts).
           
          8. If we are interested in working with you, what is the next step we should take?  We usually work under a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement. We have one or we can use yours if you prefer. 
           
          Initial step. Give us the go ahead and we will send you our Terms of Business and an invoice for the initial payment. Send us your business plan and the initial payment as described below.
          9. Typically how long will it take to prepare the case before submission? Around 3 months to fully prepare and complete the Regulatory Business Plan (from your business plan) but you should send all details of a current business plan to us along with the due diligence documents mentioned above. The application will take 26 weeks as a minimum. We will answer any regulatory queries during this process and any business or technical questions (platform, business continuity, cyber security etc) will be the new businesses responsibility.
           
          10. Based on our knowledge, we must set up the company prior to apply. So we would like to know what is the average cost to rent an office in London or nearby.
           
          As a guide for Grade A space (with IT infrastructure in place) you would expect the following rates. These locations are most popular with ForEx and Financial Services. Prices are per person per calendar month (pp pcm.) VAT is 20%.
           
          ·         Mayfair / Belgravia: £800-1250pp pcm + VAT
          ·         City of London: £750-900pp pcm + VAT
          ·         Canary Wharf: £500-600pp pcm + VAT
           
          11. Can you help us hire a UK based director(authorised by FCA) to arrange the set-up and what are the salary ranges?
          Salaries here are approximately £120,000 – £200,000 for Executive Directors with Senior Managers around £90,000. CEOs are running between £160,000 – £300,000. Recruitment companies charge around 20% of base annual salary as their fee. This fee is often required to be paid in stages. We would recommend initial screening done here and then a meeting with your team for the final candidates as you prefer.
           
          It may take 3 – 6 months to recruit the right Managing Director as notice periods are usually 3 months. 
          12. Some of my key members will have to go to London to set up everything, how will we obtain a business visa? Initially, your Key People may be better off applying for a  Standard Visitor visa (available at https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa) – eg if you’re coming to the UK for conferences, meetings, training, academic research or a sabbatical. Once your UK business is established and starting up, they can then arrange for business visas when the setting up is needed.

          Please also see http://fcaauthorisation.info.


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