On October 16, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched the asset management authorization hub (Hub), a new section of its website. The Hub is designed to support new entrants to the UK asset management industry from start-up, through authorization and into the early stages of supervision.

The FCA states that the Hub aims to clarify regulator expectations and offer better guidance, easier access to information, as well as create more positive and personalized contact with the regulator to improve the application process. The Hub offers pre-application meetings, dedicated case officers and a centralized website for information relevant to asset managers. The FCA plans to develop the Hub in the future by offering further support such as surgeries and online booking for pre-application meetings.

Ultimately, the FCA wants to reduce unnecessary barriers to entry and to encourage competition in the asset management sector, one of the key themes of its final report on its asset management market study (for more information on the final report, please see the June 30, 2017 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest). The FCA also may seek to make the United Kingdom a more attractive proposition for asset managers in light of Brexit. However, the FCA wants to stress that the Hub is not intended to lower entry standards to the market and it expects all firms to meet the same rigorous standards as current firms.

The Hub is available here.