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SUP 10C.10 1Application for approval and withdrawing an application for approval

Purpose

SUP 10C.10.1G

This section explains how a firm should apply for approval for a person to perform an FCA-designated senior management function.

SUP 10C.10.2G

Unless the context otherwise requires, in SUP 10C.10 (Application for approval and withdrawing an application for approval) to SUP 10C.15 (Forms and other documents and how to submit them to the FCA), where reference is made to a firm, this includes an applicant for Part 4A permission and other persons seeking to carry on regulated activities as a relevant authorised person.

When to apply for approval

SUP 10C.10.3G
  1. (1)

    Section 59 of the Act (Approval for particular arrangements) says that a firm must take reasonable care to ensure that no one performs an FCA controlled function (including an FCA-designated senior management function) unless that person is acting in accordance with an approval given by the FCA.

  2. (2)

    That means that where a candidate will be performing one or more FCA-designated senior management functions, a firm must take reasonable care to ensure that the candidate does not perform these functions unless they have prior approval from the FCA.

Failure to apply for approval

SUP 10C.10.4G
  1. (1)

    If a person performs an FCA controlled function (including an FCA-designated senior management function) without approval, it is not only the firm that is accountable. Under section 63A of the Act (Power to impose penalties), if the FCA is satisfied that:

    1. (a)

      a person (‘P’) has at any time performed an FCA controlled function without approval; and

    2. (b)

      at that time P knew, or could reasonably be expected to have known, that P was performing an FCA controlled function without approval;

    it may impose a penalty on P of such amount as it considers appropriate.

  2. (2)

    A person performs a controlled function without approval for these purposes if that person is not acting in accordance with an approval given under section 59 (Approval for particular arrangements).

Who should make the application?

SUP 10C.10.5G

In accordance with section 60 of the Act (Applications for approval), applications must be submitted by, or on behalf of, the firm itself, not by:

  1. (1)

    the FCA candidate; or

  2. (2)

    (where the FCA candidate works for the firm's parent undertaking or holding company) by the firm's parent undertaking or holding company.

SUP 10C.10.6G
  1. (1)

    The firm that is employing the FCA candidate to perform the FCA-designated senior management function will usually make the submission itself.

    (SUP 10C.10.7G describes some common situations.)

  2. (2)

    Where a firm has outsourced the performance of an FCA-designated senior management function, the details of the outsourcing determines whom the FCA anticipates will submit the FCA-approved persons application forms.

  3. (3)

    The firm which is outsourcing is referred to as ‘A’ and the person to whom the performance of the FCA-designated senior management function has been outsourced, or which makes the arrangement for the FCA-designated senior management function to be performed, is referred to as ‘B’. In each situation, A must take reasonable care to ensure that, in accordance with section 59(2) of the Act, no person performs an FCA-designated senior management function under an arrangement entered into by its contractor in relation to the carrying on by A of a regulated activity, without approval from the FCA.

SUP 10C.10.7G

Outsourcing arrangements

1Outsourcing arrangements

Explanation

Submitting form

Firm A to firm B

The FCA will consider A to have taken reasonable care if it enters into a contract with B under which B is responsible for ensuring that the relevant FCA-designated senior management functions are performed by FCA-approved SMF managers, and that it is reasonable for A to rely on this.

Firm B submits FCA-approved persons forms on behalf of firm A.

Outsourcing by A to B (both being a member of the same United Kingdom group and each having its registered office in the United Kingdom)

See SUP 10C.3.9G

Either A or B may submit FCA-approved persons forms on behalf of firms in the group (see SUP 15.7.8G).

(i) A to B, where B:

(a) is not an authorised person; and

(b) is not part of the same group as A; or

(ii) A to B, where A is a branch of an overseas firm in the United Kingdom, and B is an overseas undertaking of the same group; or

(iii) A to B, where A is a UK authorised subsidiary of an overseas firm and B is an overseas undertaking of the same group.

Responsibility for (as opposed to the performance of) any activity outsourced to B will remain with A. See SYSC 8.

A ensures that an individual approved by the FCA or the PRA to perform a designated senior management function has responsibility for the outsourced arrangement and A submits a form in relation to that individual.

How to apply for approval

SUP 10C.10.8D
  1. (1)

    An application by a firm for the FCA's approval under section 59 of the Act (Approval for particular arrangements) for the performance of an FCA-designated senior management function must be made by completing Form A (SUP 10C Annex 2D), except where SUP 10C.10.9D requires Form E.

  2. (2)

    If a firm must make an application using Form A, it must use Form A (shortened form) if:

    1. (a)

      the person has current approved person approval to perform:

      1. (i)

        an FCA controlled function that is a significant influence function; or

      2. (ii)

        an FCA-designated senior management function; or

      3. (iii)

        a PRA controlled function; and

    2. (b)

      there have been no matters arising in relation to the fitness and propriety of the person to whom the application relates which mean that the information provided to the FCA or the PRA regarding fitness and propriety in connection with the current approved person approval may have changed since the application for the current approved person approval was made.

SUP 10C.10.9D
  1. (1)

    A firm must use Form E (SUP 10C Annex 3D) where an approved person is both ceasing to perform one or more controlled functions and needs to be approved in relation to one or more FCA-designated senior management function within the same firm or group.

  2. (2)

    A firm must not use Form E if the approved person has never before been approved to perform for any firm:

    1. (a)

      an FCA controlled function that is a significant influence function;

    2. (b)

      an FCA-designated senior management function; or

    3. (c)

      a PRA controlled function.

  3. (3)

    A firm must not use Form E if the approved person has not been subject to a current approved person approval from the FCA or PRA to perform for any firm for more than six months:

    1. (a)

      an FCA controlled function that is a significant influence function;

    2. (b)

      an FCA-designated senior management function; or

    3. (c)

      a PRA controlled function.

  4. (4)

    A firm must not use Form E if:

    1. (a)

      a notification has been made or should be made:

      1. (i)

        to the FCA under SUP 10C.14.18R (Changes in fitness to be notified under Form D); or

      2. (ii)

        to the PRA under any equivalent PRA rule;

      3. (iii)

        to the FCA under SUP 10A.14.17R (the equivalent to (i) for firms that are not relevant authorised persons); or

      4. (iv)

        the PRA requirements corresponding to (iii);

      (whichever is applicable);

    2. (b)

      a notification has been made or should be made to the FCA or PRA under any of the following:

      1. (i)

        section 63(2A) of the Act (Duty to notify regulator of grounds for withdrawal of approval); or2

      2. (ii)

        [deleted]2

      3. (iii)

        section 64C of the Act (Requirement for relevant authorised persons to notify regulator of disciplinary action); or

    3. (c)

      a notification has been made or should be made to the PRA under any provision of Chapter 11 of the part of the PRA rulebook titled “Notifications” (Conduct Rules: Notifications) corresponding to the requirements in (b); or

    4. (d)

      any of the circumstances in SUP 10C.14.7R (Qualified Form C) apply;

    1. (e)

      controlled functions which that person is ceasing to perform (as referred to in (1)); or

    2. (f)

      any controlled function that they are continuing to perform for that firm or a firm in the same group.

SUP 10C.10.10G

SUP 10C.15 (Forms and other documents and how to submit them to the FCA) explains how applications should be submitted.

Statements of responsibilities

SUP 10C.10.11G

An application by a firm for the FCA's approval under section 59 of the Act (Approval for particular arrangements) for the performance of an FCA-designated senior management function should be accompanied by a statement of responsibilities.

SUP 10C.10.12G

SUP 10C.11 (Statements of responsibilities) contains more material about statements of responsibilities, including (in particular) about a statement of responsibilities submitted under an application under SUP 10C.10.

Other material to be included in an application

SUP 10C.10.13G

A firm should include in an application a reasonable summary of:

  1. (1)

    any handover certificate; and

  2. (2)

    any other handover material;

referred to in SYSC 4.9 (Handover procedures and material) that relates to the responsibilities that the candidate is to perform.

Vetting of candidates by the firm

SUP 10C.10.14G

Under section 60A of the Act, before a firm makes an application for approval, it should be satisfied that the candidate is a fit and proper person to perform the function to which the application relates. In deciding that question, the firm should have particular regard to whether the candidate, or any person who may perform a function on the candidate's behalf:

  1. (1)

    has obtained a qualification;

  2. (2)

    has undergone, or is undergoing, training;

  3. (3)

    possesses a level of competence; or

  4. (4)

    has the personal characteristics;

required by FCA rules in relation to persons performing functions of the kind to which the application relates.

SUP 10C.10.15G

For guidance on criteria that a firm should use for assessing whether an FCA candidate is fit and proper (including the FCA rules referred to in SUP 10C.10.14G), see FIT.

Criminal records checks and verifying fitness and properness

SUP 10C.10.16R

A firm must (as part of its assessment of whether a candidate is a fit and proper person to perform an FCA-designated senior management function and to verify the information contained in the application to carry out the FCA-designated senior management function) obtain the fullest information that it is lawfully able to obtain about the candidate under Part V of the Police Act 1997 (Certificates of Criminal records, etc) and related subordinated legislation of the UK or any part of the UK before making the application.

SUP 10C.10.17G
  1. (1)

    In England and Wales a firm should get an application form from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or an umbrella body (a registered body that gives access to DBS checks).

  2. (2)

    The firm should ask the candidate to fill in and return the form to the firm. The firm should then send the completed application form to DBS or the firm's umbrella body.

  3. (3)

    The firm should then ask the candidate to show the firm the certificate when the candidate receives it from the DBS.

  4. (4)

    There is an equivalent procedure in Scotland (involving Disclosure Scotland) and Northern Ireland (involving AccessNI).

SUP 10C.10.18G

The firm should not send a copy of the certificate to the FCA.

SUP 10C.10.19G

If the candidate is employed by a contractor, the firm may ask the contractor to obtain the certificate.

SUP 10C.10.20G

A firm should also check the Financial Services Register as part of its assessment of whether a candidate is fit and proper and to verify the information contained in the application for approval.

SUP 10C.10.21G

If appropriate, a firm should:

  1. (1)

    carry out a criminal record check; and

  2. (2)

    check any equivalent of the Financial Services Register;

in a jurisdiction outside the UK. This may be appropriate if the candidate has spent time working or living in that jurisdiction.

SUP 10C.10.22G

A firm should consider whether it should take additional steps to verify any information contained in an application to carry out an FCA-designated senior management function or that it takes into account in its assessment of whether a candidate is a fit and proper person.

SUP 10C.10.23G

Please see SYSC 22 (Regulatory references) about the requirement for a firm to ask for references from previous employers.3

4

Processing an application

SUP 10C.10.24G

The Act sets out the time that the FCA has to consider an application and come to a decision.

SUP 10C.10.25G

In any case, where the application for approval is made by a person applying for a Part 4A permission, the FCA has until the end of whichever of the following periods ends last:

  1. (1)

    the period within which an application for that permission must be determined; and

  2. (2)

    the period of three months from the time it receives a properly completed application.

SUP 10C.10.26G

In any other case, it is the period of three months from the time it receives a properly completed application.

SUP 10C.10.27G

The FCA will deal with cases more quickly than this whenever circumstances allow and will try to meet the standard response times published on the website and in its Annual Report. However, the processing time will be longer than the published standard response times if:

  1. (1)

    an application is incomplete when received; or

  2. (2)

    the FCA has knowledge that, or reason to believe that, the information is incomplete.

SUP 10C.10.28G

Before making a decision to grant the application or give a warning notice, the FCA may ask the firm for more information about the FCA candidate. If it does this, the three-month period in which the FCA must determine a completed application:

  1. (1)

    will stop on the day the FCA requests the information; and

  2. (2)

    will start running again on the day on which the FCA finally receives all the requested information.

SUP 10C.10.29G

If there is a delay in processing the application within the standard response time, the FCA will tell the firm making the application as soon as this becomes apparent.

SUP 10C.10.30G
  1. (1)

    Application forms must always be completed fully and honestly. Further notes on how to complete the form are contained in each form.

  2. (2)

    If forms are not completed fully and honestly, applications will be subject to investigation and the FCA candidate's suitability to be approved to undertake an FCA controlled function will be called into question.

  3. (3)

    A person who provides information to the FCA that is false or misleading may commit a criminal offence and could face prosecution under section 398 of the Act, regardless of the status of their application.

SUP 10C.10.31G

The FCA may grant an application only if it is satisfied that the FCA candidate is a fit and proper person to perform the FCA-designated senior management function stated in the application form. Responsibility lies with the firm making the application to satisfy the FCA that the FCA candidate is fit and proper to perform the FCA-designated senior management function applied for.

SUP 10C.10.32G

For further guidance on criteria for assessing whether an FCA candidate is fit and proper for the purposes of SUP 10C.10.31G, see FIT.

Decisions on applications

SUP 10C.10.33G

The FCA must:

  1. (1)

    grant the application;

  2. (2)

    grant the application subject to conditions or limitations (see SUP 10C.12 for more information); or

  3. (3)

    refuse the application.

SUP 10C.10.34G

Whenever it grants an application, the FCA will confirm this in writing to all interested parties.

SUP 10C.10.35G

If the FCA proposes to take the steps in SUP 10C.10.33G(2) or (3) in relation to one or more FCA-designated senior management functions, it must follow the procedures for issuing warning and decision notices to all interested parties. The requirements relating to warning and decision notices are in DEPP 2.

Withdrawing an application for approval

SUP 10C.10.36R

A firm notifying the FCA of its withdrawal of an application for approval must use Form B (SUP 10A Annex 5R).

SUP 10C.10.37G

Under section 61(5) of the Act (Determination of applications), the firm may withdraw an application only if it also has the consent of:

  1. (1)

    the candidate; and

  2. (2)

    the person by whom the candidate is or would have been employed, if this is not the firm making the application.

SUP 10C.10.38G

SUP 10C.15 (Forms and other documents and how to submit them to the FCA) explains how a notice of withdrawal should be submitted.