FCA authorisations hit by consumer credit backlog

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A backlog of consumer credit applications is the driver behind delays in the FCA’s authorisation process, insiders claim.

Money Marketing understands that in May the regulator took 18 weeks to appoint a case handler for authorisation applications, which it expects to drop to 14 weeks by the end of June.

This is a lag on the usual expected timeframe of eight to 10 weeks.

The FCA would not comment on the potential link between consumer credit applications – which the FCA took over processing from the Office of Fair Trading in April 2014 – and a slow-down in authorisations.

However, an insider says processing times were impacted by a high volume of consumer credit work.

In its June data bulletin, the FCA said that for the January to March period it took approximately 26 weeks to process an authorisation case for firms other than those carrying out consumer credit activities.

Threesixty managing director Phil Young says: “You put two-and-two together that there is a large volume of this kind of work and it is coming at the same time as authorisation timescales have shot up. Anecdotally they are reporting on far better times now to appoint a case officer from 22 weeks to 18 weeks. We would like to see that come down to the normal eight to 10 weeks.”

It is understood the FCA has boosted personnel in the consumer credit team with some staff training taking up to six months.