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SUP 9.3 Giving individual guidance to a firm on the FCA's own initiative

SUP 9.3.1GRP

Business and internal control risks vary from firm to firm, according to the nature and complexity of the business. The FCA's assessment of these risks is reflected in how its rules apply to different categories of firm as well as in the use of its other regulatory tools. One of the tools the FCA has available is to give a firm individual guidance on the application of the requirements or standards under the regulatory system in the firm's particular circumstances.

SUP 9.3.2GRP

The FCA6 may give individual guidance to a firm on its own initiative if it considers it appropriate to do so. For example:

  1. (1)

    the FCA6 may consider that general guidance in the Handbook does not appropriately fit a firm's particular circumstances (which may be permanent or temporary) and therefore decide to give additional individual guidance to the firm;

  2. (2)

    some of the FCA's6 requirements are expressed in general terms; however, there may be times when the FCA6 will wish to respond to a firm's particular circumstances by giving individual guidance on the application of the general requirement in these circumstances;

  3. (3)

    the FCA6 may consider that a firm should be given more detailed guidance than that contained in the FCA Handbook6; for example, where a firm holds positions in instruments of a non-standard form it may be appropriate to give the firm additional or more detailed guidance on how the FCA6 considers that it should calculate its financial resources requirement;

  4. (4)

    in some instances a rule allows a firm to select which requirement, within a range of alternative requirements, a firm should comply with; in many instances, the FCA Handbook6 gives guidance setting out the circumstances in which compliance with a particular requirement is appropriate; the FCA6 may sometimes consider it necessary to give additional individual guidance to tell a firm which requirement it considers appropriate;

  5. (5)

    in relation to the maintenance of adequate financial resources, the FCA6 may give a firm individual guidance on the amount or type of financial resources the FCA6 considers appropriate.5 Further guidance on how and when the FCA may give individual guidance5 on financial resources is contained in the Prudential Standards part of the Handbook:2

    1. (a)

      for a MIFIDPRU investment firm, MIFIDPRU 7.10; and5

    2. (b)


    3. (c)

      for a securities and futures firm (or other firm required to comply with IPRU(INV) 3): IPRU(INV) 3-79R3.

    4. (d)


    5. (e)


SUP 9.3.3GRP

If the FCA intends to give a firm individual guidance on its own initiative, it will normally seek to discuss the issue with the firm and agree suitable individual guidance.

SUP 9.3.4GRP

Individual guidance given to a firm on the FCA's own initiative will normally be given in writing.