In November 2020 the FCA published a Consultation Paper CP 20/22 outlining proposed policy changes to the way the FCA will apply fees from 2021/22. This was followed by a further Consultation Paper in April 2021 which included feedback on the proposals outlined in the November 2020 consultation. The FCA has now published a Policy Statement which sets out the new structure for authorisation application fees. Most application fees have not changed since the Financial Services Authority (FSA) introduced them nearly 20 years ago.
When reviewed in 2020 there were more than 80 separate charges for FCA applications identified. The FCA has condensed the charges into 10 pricing categories shown in Table 2.1 below. Variation of Permission applications, for example, (for variations of Permissions in the same ‘fee block’) will fall into Category 2 and be priced at £500, a rise from the current £250 fee.
The FCA has also confirmed that it will be introducing a new charge of £250 for stand-alone Long Form A applications under SMR and CF(AR). This charge will be triggered by the submission of the Long Form A and will be payable per form, regardless of the number of entities covered by the application. The fee will be paid online when the Long Form A is submitted. To avoid unnecessary payments firms should take care not to make applications on the long form when they can use the short one.
The new structure for authorisation application fees comes into effect from 24th January 2022. The FCA is undertaking further work and will give notice of the implementation date of the £250 charge for submission of the Long Form A in due course.