On 12 September 2023, the FCA published a new webpage: Applying to approve financial promotions for unauthorised persons, setting out how to apply to the FCA for ‘approver permission’ which will be required under new rules coming into force next year.

The webpage is aimed at firms that currently approve, or intend to approve, financial promotions for unauthorised persons, but is also relevant for firms applying to be authorised by the FCA. It explains that currently, an authorised firm can approve financial promotions for an unauthorised person, subject to the FCA’s rules about financial promotions and adverts. From 7 February 2024, however, firms will need FCA permission to do this under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 unless an exemption applies.

Included on the webpage is information on:

  • How to find out whether a firm is exempt.
  • The 3-month window for applying for approver permission.
  • How to apply, including what to read and consider first, how to prepare an application, how to submit an application and what happens after an application has been submitted.

Firms will need to apply to the FCA between 6 November 2023 and 6February 2024 to continue approving financial promotions ahead of the new rules coming into force on 7 February 2024. Firms that have submitted an application can continue to approve promotions after this window until they receive a decision on their application.  

Furthermore, firms approving financial promotions will also be required to report regularly on what they sign off and on any concerning adverts they cancel approval for, with the aim of helping the FCA to move faster to crack down on rogue adverts.