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Helping you promote and sell the financial services products you need to grow your business

What we do

Helping you become authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority

If you want to sell regulated financial services products, it is essential that you are either a Principal firm authorised directly by the Financial Conduct Authority or an Appointed Representative. CBS AR is a Principal company directly authorised by the FCA that specialises in making firms its Appointed Representatives (AR).   We can thus help you become approved to sell regulated financial services products.

The process to become and to stay an AR can be lengthy and the ongoing workloads quite burdensome. We specialise in handling the initial process.  We guide you through the regulatory requirements and help you to address them in a practical way.  Once established on the register through CBS AR we continue to provide compliance support while your business grows and we help you learn from your experience, so you can get the most out of a regulatory environment.

Obviously not being compliant with the regulations can be business threatening, but more importantly, the consequences of a failure in this area include unlimited fines and up to five years in prison.  See the Financial Services and Markets Act Section 19.

Initially we assess your suitability and subject to proper agreement on terms we undertake a detailed due diligence, including full background checks, provide you with the regulatory framework and, if all goes well, we will aim to put your firm on the FCA Register within four to six weeks.

You need to choose the route that best suits your business and you may indeed apply to the FCA to become directly authorized.  However, normally this is best suited to larger firms with significant financial resources because it is often expensive and usually time consuming. Typically, a direct application will take between four and six months.


How we work

Creating a fit for purpose sales environment

Once we have understood your business model and background, which is normally free, we will advise you in writing whether or not we feel you are suitable to become an AR of CBS AR.  This advice will include a detailed proposal and explanation of what is required.  Once you have formally accepted this, we take you through a clearly defined and easy to understand program of due diligence, working very closely with our compliance advisers, Thistle Initiatives. The program includes detailed background checks of key individuals within your firm, together with an appraisal of your sales methods and a detailed review of your systems and controls.

This part of the process is crucial in order to ensure that your business and your key employees, particularly the senior management are fit and proper persons. This ensures that the sales environment you operate is appropriate and achieves what the FCA describes as 'suitable customer outcomes'.

Working within the Regulatory requirements may appear onerous, so we aim to both demystify it for you and help you create a compliant but sales orientated environment.  However, it must be recognised that becoming an Appointed Representative of CBS AR is NOT ‘regulation lite’. There are no short cuts and CBS AR will be accepting responsibility for your ability to trade in a compliant fashion. We take this responsibility very seriously.

What to do next

Call us on 0788 750 1441 for an initial chat. We are always happy to help and background advice is always free.

Our People

Experience and Qualified

Paul Smith

Paul is the Managing Director of CBS AR Limited. Originally qualifying as a lawyer in the 1980’s he has many years experience in the insurance sector, originally as an Underwriter and then building up a large Underwriting Agency business which eventually employed over 250 people. During this time he oversaw the introduction of an FSA (as it then was) approved compliance regime and the business as a whole was always run to a very high standard. He appreciated early on that compliance has to be and must remain at the heart of a regulated firm.

Subsequent to retiring from this business he has worked very closely with a business partner to develop a variety of compliance solutions for small and medium sized firms, both acting as Manager of a Principal Firm and by supplying compliance advise and support. He remains a Director one of the leading compliance consultancy firms in this specialist sector called Thistle Initiatives.

Dr David Brock

After thirty years of senior management positions within the supply chain, retail and insurance industries David is uniquely well qualified to help you through the technical aspects of the AR Take On process. Whether it is working with you to apply the key information templates to your firm or helping you meet the requirements of Insurance Underwriters, David has the knowledge of what the Regulators and Insurers expect from the specialist firms in this sector.

David has a depth of experience across a wide range of business sectors. He has worked in retail financial services for 20 years, including as Financial Services Director for Powerhouse Retail where he managed a book of over 2.5M extended warranties in 3 offshore captives and placed over £150M per annum of consumer credit. David is also recognised as one of the UK’s leading experts in the creation of VAT efficient service contracts, guarantees and maintenance agreements. He provides advice on how to build non-insurance and non-FCA schemes, to optimise profitability, whilst still offering effective protection of consumer rights.

Contact us

Get in touch

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Call us on 0788 750 1441 for an initial chat. We are always happy to help and background advice is always free.

T: 0788 750 1441 E: 

CBS AR Ltd trading as CBS Appointed Representatives

Registered address:
4 Merchants Exchange
Bridge Street
York, England, YO1 6LT
Company No. 08241702