Financial firms seeking to obtain a UK licence are having to face longer waiting times due to increased strain on the local regulator. According to a report by the UK’s National Audit Office, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), spent on average eighteen and a half weeks in the last quarter of 2014 on each new license granted to firms to launch new business ventures in the country.
The FCA already administers the licensing process for 73,000 entities in its register, from beginner investing advisors all the way to the biggest banks in the world. This overwhelming number of firms seem to strain the capabilities of the regulator as the waiting period has almost doubled since the unified agency was the created in beginning of 2013 when such approvals took just ten weeks on average.
Unfortunately for all firms that are eagerly awaiting for their approval process to be completed by the FCA, the line is about to become even longer. Last month it was revealed that the UK government is set to switch the regulatory framework for binary options trading from gambling to financial trading. This means that binary brokers who wish to boast a UK licence will have to submit to FCA approval.
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Interestingly, one of the main reasons for the popularity of the UK as a forex and binary options hus is its reputation for smart financial regulators. While in other European jurisdictions new trading innovations such as binary options are ignored, in the UK the practice has long been approved by authorities.