Dr Eleanor Linton, head of policy, high street firms division at the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has urged brokers to take advantage of the ‘early bird discount’ for applications received before 1 April 2004. She warned delegates that applications received after 30 April might not be processed in time for the 31 October start date for regulation.
Linton said the FSA was expecting thousands to opt for direct authorisation. “I cannot help you make that decision. You need to think carefully about your options. With the last two policy statements, most of the aspects that will affect your business have been covered. Now you can start to make your key decisions.”
The 30-page application pack – to be launched in November – will contain 70 questions, most of which will require ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Linton told delegates not to be daunted, but warned: “Please apply early to avoid the bottlenecks. There will be support and helpful information both on the form and the website. The contact centre opening in November will also be there to help.”