Regulatory Guidance For Claims Management Companies

claims management company cmc fca regulation authorisation
Compliance Consultants has solutions for all FCA Authorisation issues

CMC’s To Get Bill Of over £7M

Claims management companies (CMCs), well known in the financial services compliance business, must look for more than ₤ 7m in 2019 to put together a compliant scheme to adequately satisfy the regulator the sector, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed.

The sum to be paid in 2019-20, if accurate, is 42% of the total initial cost of adopting responsibility for the sector, which under the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 devolves the authority from the Claims Management Regulator on 1 April next year. In total, the authority will recover an estimated ₤ 16.8 m from the sector by 2021, the regulator suggests.

In a consultation paper ‘CP18/23: Claims management companies: recovering the costs of regulation and the Financial Ombudsman Service‘ published at the end of August 2018 the FCA confirms that it is financed completely by the bodies it regulates; and that considering the claims management industry’s unclear future it will need money up-front. Whenever accepting new obligations, the authority can sometimes defer recovery of the project costs until ‘a substantial body of fee payers’ is in place. The regulator also notes; ‘However, the claims management industry is undergoing considerable change and this uncertainty limits our ability to defer recovery of costs.’

Reforms

Reforms to the claims management conditions, notably 29 August 2019 deadline day for the submission of cases associated with payment protection insurance,’ may well require CMCs to change their business models to carry on with providing claims management services for consumers, and some firms may exit the market entirely’, it notes. Therefore there is a risk that project costs might fall disproportionately heavily on those firms that successfully qualify for authorisation.

‘It would be unfair for firms which take advantage of the regulatory gateway, but which leave within the first year, to pass their share of the project costs to those firms which continue to be authorised by us,’ the consultation document considers. ‘For this reason, we have decided to collect a substantial proportion of our project costs in the first year.’ This figure will certainly equate to an amount of ₤ 7.1 m in 2019/20, about 42% of the total.

The proposals are set for a rough ride from the claims management industry. Although a vast majority of the firms are likely to exit the industry in 2019, how will the FCA demonstrate that they understand the industry well enough to regulate the remaining firms effectively? Unfortunately, just as a lock only keeps out an honest man, we could end up with disproportionate costs and infrastructure changes to what amount to be successful, ethical and compliant firms.

FCA Authorisation

Whenever the CMCs are set to apply for authorisation, there is plenty of help for them to engage with. Compliance Consultant are specialist FCA authorisation consultants and can assist all types of firms get the authorisation process right.
What Does FCA Authorised Mean?Based on the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2000, financial activities are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Any firm carrying out any regulated activity must be authorised by the FCA, unless they are exempt. On Approval They Are FCA Approved Persons.

FCA Authorisations are in some cases tricky and can appear very daunting to the newcomer.Compliance Consultant was created in 2000 to assist providers and individuals in their regulatory compliance requirements, here in the UK, EU and Middle East. We are also long-standing members of the Association of Professional Compliance Consultants (APCC).

Using our application experience developed from the FCA’s Authorisations Team feedback, Compliance Consultant Authorisation Services has succeeded in obtaining authorisation for a large number of clients of all sizes from a variety of fields.

Why Do They Need Compliance Consultant?

FCA Authorisation process is often confusing and prone to misunderstanding. Not because the process is flawed, it’s simply that in order to have such a broad reach of all the regulated industries, the rules have to be a little grey and fuzzy. This means application is sometimes challenging and the regulator often seeks for clarity around a business model. Then of course there is a language issue as well. Many of the terms used in regulation don’t always have the same meaning in everyday language.

This is why you need a specialist adviser like Compliance Consultant.

In a speech By Sarah Rapson, Director, FCA Authorisations on the 14th March 2018 at the APCC Conference she stated;

“Sometimes firms fail to provide information we request, or they provide the wrong information, or over complicate their responses. This could be because they do not understand our concerns or the questions we ask or why we ask them. If in doubt, they should ask us.Similarly, firms can misunderstand what is required of them, especially where there is new regulation, such as PSD2 or MiFID2. Again, they should speak with us if they are uncertain as to our requirements.

From time to time we deal with firms that will not engage with us or do so reluctantly; or they address our concerns in part but not fully. In such circumstances we may well conclude that a firm is not ready to be authorised and could not be supervised effectively. My message is simple; firms need to cooperate with us.

Sometimes firms apply for authorisation prematurely, before they are ready to demonstrate that they meet the minimum conditions; at very least this will delay our consideration of their applications, especially if they also fail to provide the information that we require. Firms should apply when they are ready, not to secure their place in the queue.

Those are just a few examples. But the common theme is that firms that understand what we are trying to achieve through having a rigorous approach to authorisations and why, are more likely to be successful in their applications.”

The consultation on the proposals runs to 22 October. The FCA will publish a formal policy statement in December, for the rules to become effective from 1 January 2019.

Contact us on 0207 097 1434 to assist with your authorisation.

 

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