OCC published its final decision with regards to a complaint against FCA’s handling of a change in control application. The complainant said the FCA set extremely short deadlines for them to respond to issues FCA had raised. Under FSMA the assessment period for a change in control application is 60 working days. FCA can interrupt the assessment period once, and so extend the length of time it has to consider an application. OCC found that FCA had accidentally removed its ability to “stop the clock” on the application by requesting further information at an early stage of its consideration. Consequently because it was bound by the statutory time period of 60 working days, FCA subsequently imposed very tight deadlines on the complainant for responding to requests for further information.

OCC criticised FCA for making the initial request for information, for failing to recognise the error earlier and for failing to adequately explain it to the complainant. OCC also criticised the rushed process for considering the application that resulted from these errors. (Source: Complaints Commissioner Criticises FCA Handling)