The FCA has published its Key Performance Indicators for 2015/2016 in order to further its goals of remaining as transparent as possible, by providing information on regulatory decisions where appropriate.  The figures include (among other things) those relating to authorisation applications, although primarily for those other than for consumer credit activities, and for variations of permission.  The KPIs provide information on the average processing time for applications, how many applications the FCA has determined, and the distribution of all decisions. 

Some of the key points to note for Q4 in relation to firms applying for a Part 4A permission are:

  • The average time taken in weeks to process an application increased in Q4 for the retail sector.  The FCA says that the increased complexity of applications it received increased the time taken to deal with them.
  • The FCA saw a decrease in the volume of determined applications.  A determined application is an application that has been authorised or is authorised subject to conditions being satisfied.  The latter includes applications that may be subsequently withdrawn, having not met the necessary conditions or where the application was subsequently retracted.  The FCA report states that the decrease was due to the more complex nature of applications it received and thus the increased time required to process them, as well as the divergence of resource between dealing with such applications and the training of new staff who have joined the FCA.
  • There were no refusals in Q4 and the percentage of withdrawals decreased.

In relation to applications for variation of permission, the key points to note for Q4 are:

  • The average time taken in weeks to process an application increased in the retail sector due to case complexity returning to normal levels following a surge in case volumes in previous quarters.
  • The FCA saw a decrease in the volume of approved applications in line with a return to normal levels of volume of applications in line with above.
  • There were no refusals in Q4 although the number of withdrawals did increase slightly.