Mortgage firms account for 70% of direct authorisation applications received by FSA

The FSA says it has received 4,229 applications for direct authorisation and estimates at least 70% of these are from mortgage firms.

Speaking at the FSA&#39s T&C Conference last week, Sarah Wilson, director of high street firms, says the regulator had, as of March 31, received 13,210 registrations for application packs, of which 5,945 were from firms in the mortgage market and 7,265 were from general insurance firms.

She said the FSA had so far received 4,229 applications for authorisation, around 80% electronically.

In addition, 3,545 existing authorised firms have so far told the FSA that they plan to apply to vary their permission to include mortgage and general insurance activities, or both, and 2,811 have submitted applications to do so.

Wilson says: “We are delighted by this level of engagement, and are working hard to process all these applications using new streamlined processes. We continue to expect to issue the first set of minded to authorise letters later this month.”

But she adds: “You will see that the secondary general insurance market – firms whose prime business is not the sale of insurance – is not coming through the registration figures particularly strongly at present, and certainly not as strongly as ought to be the case.

“Such firms account for just 2,378 registrations, despite the high incidence of general insurance arranging and advising on the UK high street. In these cases, the difficulty is often a relative lack of awareness and a refusal to accept that the European legislation does affect them.”