FCA Consults on Regulatory Approach for International Firms

The FCA is seeking views on its approach to authorising international firms that wish to provide financial services in the UK post-Brexit.

The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has launched a consultation on its approach to the authorisation and supervision of international firms operating in the UK.

While the consultation is relevant EEA (European Economic Area) firms that intend to seek authorisation in the UK in the future (including those entering the Temporary Permissions Regime), it is also relevant to firms from non-EEA countries that have applied or intend to apply for authorisation in the UK, or are already authorised in the UK.

The FCA expects an increase in the number of international firms seeking authorisation at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. Currently there are more than 1,500 firms and around 600 funds registered in the Temporary Permissions Regime, which will require full authorisation at the end of the transition period.

“International firms serving UK customers through branches can sometimes create different risks of harm compared to UK firms because of the way their businesses are structured and operate,” the FCA says.

As such, it wants to hear views on how these risks can be mitigated, and when it would be appropriate for an international firm to seek authorisation as a UK-incorporated firm for all or part of its business.

The final document the FCA produces following the consultation will help firms structure their business for providing financial services in the UK and understand the authorisations approach, the regulator says.

The consultation, available here, is open for comment until 27 November 2020.

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