FSA begins registration process for direct authorisation

The Financial Services Authority has launched its authorisation process for mortgage and general insurance firms.

From November 3 2003, firms will be able to register for an application pack, which contains redesigned application forms and guidance. The FSA will start accepting completed application forms from mid-January 2004.

Mortgage regulation starts on October 31 2004, while general insurance regulation begins on January 14 2005. After these dates it will be illegal for any firm that is not FSA authorised or an appointed representative of an authorised firm to continue doing mortgage or general insurance business.

Sarah Wilson, director of high street firms at the FSA, says: “Regulation is around the corner and all firms need to act now to ensure they are ready in time. Firms that want to become directly authorised by the FSA can register now to receive their application packs. This gives them a couple of months to consider the form, work out what they need to do and get any help they need from us.”

Firms can register online for their application pack at www.fsa.gov.uk/mgi or order one from the FSA contact centre on 0845 60 555 25.