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Home > Prudential Regulation Authority > Submitting, assessing and determining an approved persons application
 

Submitting, assessing and determining an approved persons application

Approved Persons  |  Submitting, assessing and determining an approved persons application  Amending/withdrawing an approval 

Submitting an application

All firms other than credit unions must submit all applications via the Connect system to apply for an individual to become an approved person. The only exception to this is the Form B (notice to withdraw) which must be submitted in paper. Under certain circumstances firms can gain an exemption from submitting via Connect by contacting the FCA Customer Contact Centre.

Paper applications for PRA-designated Controlled Functions only need to be sent to the PRA who will liaise with the FCA in turn. Credit unions and exempt firms may submit all applications in paper to:

Assessment & Monitoring Team
Prudential Regulation Authority
20 Moorgate
London EC2R 6DA
 

There is no fee charged to process an approved persons application.

Approved persons applications should be made by the firm ('the applicant') and countersigned by the individual ('the candidate'). In submitting the application, both the applicant and the candidate are verifying that the information contained within the application is complete and accurate.

Prior to submitting an application firms may wish to engage with the PRA, particularly where the application may be of a sensitive nature and/or for a key role. Firms should contact their supervision team to discuss such cases. 

Firms must satisfy the PRA that the candidate is fit and proper by providing details of:
  • the due diligence undertaken by the firm in appointing the candidate;
  • references obtained, including regulatory references; and
  • details of the rationale the firm has used to conclude that the candidate is fit and proper to perform the role for which approval is sought.

Should approval be required by a specific date, the firm should enter the role effective date in the ‘Arrangements and controlled functions’ section of the application. The PRA will make every reasonable effort to meet with this timeline; however, this may not always be possible.

Disclosure of information

Firms are required to disclose all matters relating to a candidate’s fitness and propriety. If a firm is not sure whether something may have an impact on a candidate’s fitness and propriety, the information should be disclosed. The PRA takes non-disclosure very seriously and may consider it to be evidence of current dishonesty. If in doubt, disclose.

In the event that a candidate discloses adverse information to the applicant (or the applicant knows of adverse information by some other means) the applicant has a duty to disclose that information to the PRA.

In the event that adverse information comes to light after the application form has been submitted, or after the individual has been approved, the firm must still inform the PRA at the earliest opportunity.

Assessing and determining an approved persons application

Under section 61 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), the PRA may approve an individual only where it is satisfied that a candidate is fit and proper to perform the Controlled Function(s) applied for. When considering a candidate’s fitness and propriety, the PRA takes into account and be satisfied of the candidate’s:

  • honestly, integrity and reputation, ie that they will be open and honest in their dealings and able to comply with the requirements imposed on them;
  • competence and capability, ie that they have the necessary skills to carry on the function they are to perform; and
  • financial soundness.

The length of time taken to determine an application will vary, particularly where there is evidence of non-disclosure and/or adverse information, or where an interview is required to assess the candidate’s competence and capability. In these cases, the PRA may require the applicant to submit further information it considers necessary to determine the application. As a result, the statutory clock will be stopped until that information has been received and/or the interview has taken place.

Nevertheless, the PRA has a statutory obligation to determine the application within three months of receipt.

The PRA will take a proportionate approach in its assessment of applications, taking into account all matters relating to an individual’s fitness and propriety.  Where appropriate, the PRA may also interview candidates as part of its assessment. This is particularly the case for the most senior roles at the largest firms although, at its discretion, the PRA may also choose to interview other candidates.

Where both the PRA and the FCA wish to interview a candidate they will, so far as possible, seek to coordinate a single joint interview with the applicant. Both organisations do, however, reserve the right to conduct solo interviews, where appropriate.

If a decision is made to approve the application, the PRA will inform the firm by issuing an approval notice. If the decision is that the application is not successful and the PRA and/or the FCA propose to refuse the application, the PRA will inform the applicant by issuing a Warning Notice which will include details of the appeals process.

Non-responders

During the course of their assessment, case officers may request further information from firms via email to help reach a decision. If the firm does not respond to this request within four weeks they are considered a ‘non-responder’. The PRA will make further reasonable effort to obtain the required information, but may reject a non-responder’s application at its discretion if the information is not forthcoming.
 

PRA Direction notice - 18 September and 16 December 2015 

The text of some of the forms accessible on this webpage was changed by the PRA and FCA on Friday 18 September and Wednesday 16 December, 2015. For more information on the changes, please see CP35/15 and PS30/15. The following links includes the PRA Direction notices which give effect to the amendments to the forms and identify the changes made. This is provided to you for information purposes. If you intend to submit one of the forms affected to the PRA, please use the clean version of the form by clicking the relevant link above.
 
 

Key Resources

 Form A Disclosures - Factsheet on the Disclosures of Cautions and convictions in the Form A
Long Form A - UK and Overseas Firms (not incoming EEA) - Application to perform Controlled Functions under the Approved Persons Regime
Long Form A - Incoming EEA only - Application to perform Controlled Functions under the Approved Persons Regime
Short Form A - UK and overseas firms (not EEA) - Application to perform Controlled Functions under the Approved Persons Regime
Short Form A - Incoming EEA only - Application to perform Controlled Functions under the Approved Persons Regime

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