Published: 26th April 2016

Of Relevance to:
‘Firms whose activities include ‘advising on investments’


Advising: FCA Register

As mentioned in Regulatory Roundup 74, firms that had the activity of ‘advising on investments’ under the ‘Permission’ section of their entry on the Financial Services Register as at 6 April will now find that they have the additional regulated activity of ‘advising on P2P agreements’ (you will probably find this new activity tucked away in the area just below the firm’s name rather than under ‘Permission’).

Unless a firm is actually ‘advising on P2P agreements’ it is not compulsory to retain this permission and a (fee free) request can be made to the FCA to remove it – firms should have received a communication from the FCA on this matter.

The FCA has devised a special one page Variation of Permission (“VoP”) application for this purpose. Firm’s using this form should note that it has to be submitted to: P2Padvice@fca.org.uk.

We are informed that the FCA aims to process such applications within 15 working days. The FCA communication referred to above suggests that this method of submission is only available until 6 October 2016.

Firms that retain this additional permission will not be subject to any additional FCA regulatory fees (assuming, of course, that they do not earn any income from this activity), although the FCA does remind firms “You may need to consider what impact the new permission will have on the amount of capital resources or professional indemnity insurance cover you need to hold”.

It should be noted that firms that do not undertake designated investment business will be subject an additional fee in relation to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This is currently £45, although it will not be charged until the 2017/18 financial year.

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