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What happens if the Financial Conduct Authority decide not to grant authorisation?

‘Minded to’ letter

If the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) decide that they are not going to grant authorisation, they will send a ‘minded to’ letter to the company in question and indicate their intentions to refuse. They will invite the applicant company to withdraw its application or you can challenge it.

Warning Notice

If the firm decides to press ahead with their application, the case officer making the recommendation for the refusal will refer the case to an Executive Decision Maker (EDM), who may or may not follow the proposed action. If the EDM agrees with the recommendation, a Warning Notice is then sent to the firm setting out that the FCA proposes to refuse the application and explaining their reasons for doing so. At this stage, the firm can submit written representations in response to a Warning Notice, which will be considered by the EDM.

Decision Notice

They will then decide whether or not to issue a formal Decision Notice.

If you fail to challenge the initial warning that they are minded to refuse, the EDM may decide that it is uncontested and issue a Decision Notice to that effect, i.e. that the application for authorisation is refused.

You should be aware that the FCA will normally publish the Decision Notice on their website.


If the EDM does decide against you, then all is not lost. You still have a right of appeal to the Upper Tribunal, which is normally within 28 days. They will essentially take a fresh look at the decision and hear from both sides.

Finally, throughout this process, you will normally be able to continue as if the initial refusal decision had not been made, which can be helpful if you are enjoying 'temporary permission'. It is only in the more serious cases that they will look to suspend permission, which again you can appeal against.

Help is at hand

I’ve dealt with a lot of such cases successfully, so if you do need my help just get in touch.

For more information, please contact me at or on tel: 07907 308773.


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