As information packs landed on the desks of all firms currently supervised by the ICAEW and other recognised professional bodies, the FSA warned current authorisation could lapse if firms took no action.
Packs have been sent to 15,000 accountancy and law firms, though the FSA expect only 2,000 to apply for full authorisation.
Under the new Financial Services and Markets Act, which comes into force on 1 December, the FSA will become the UK’s single statutory regulator of financial services business.
Not all firms will be expected to join the new regime as they do not carry out ‘mainstream’ investment advice and were only registered with an RPB as a precaution.
Such firms will remain under the supervision of their own institute.
If firms do not return the opt-in form by 31 October, after which they will have several months to apply for full registration while being ‘grandfathered’ by the FSA, they will need to either apply for full registration by 30 November, or cease mainstream investment business.
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