The Upper Tribunal has handed down its decision addressing the important question of what happens to a firm’s interim permission when the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) gives a Decision Notice rejecting an application for full authorisation. The case will be of considerable significance for the very large number of firms carrying on consumer credit activities, which before April 2014 were authorised and regulated by the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”). All such firms are obliged to apply for full permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), and in the interim are the automatic beneficiaries of interim permission.
In the first case of its kind, the question arose as to whether or not such interim permission ceases automatically upon the FCA giving a Decision Notice rejecting the application or whether it remains in effect pending any Reference from the rejection to the Upper Tribunal. The Upper Tribunal decided that as a matter of law the firm’s interim permission ceases immediately upon the firm having been given a Decision Notice and therefore any firm seeking to extend interim permission must apply to the Tribunal for an Order suspending the effect of the Decision Notice.
Javan Herberg QC and Simon Pritchard acted for the Financial Conduct Authority
Tom Weisselberg QC acted for Firm A