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Be prepared for the FRN system change – update

Back in June, we issued a newsflash informing members that the FCA will soon run out of six digit Firm Reference Numbers (FRN).

We can confirm the FCA is likely to move to seven digit FRNs for newly registered firms at some point during Q2 2023 (based on the volume of applications and notifications the FCA receives).

Firms previously allocated a six digit FRN will keep that number.

As highlighted in our previous newsflash, this may sound a minor change but could have wide-reaching implications if providers fail to update their forms and databases in time, as the newly authorised firms affected will be unable to apply for agencies.

Networks and other principals expecting to take on new ARs within the next 12 months may want to consider contacting their providers to ask for confirmation that online application forms and any other relevant systems are being updated to reflect the forthcoming FRN format change.

Existing firms may also need to seek clarification from providers as to how to input six digit FRNs once forms have been updated to allow for seven digits. Will six digits continue to be accepted, or will providers’ systems require another character (e.g. ‘X’) to fill the extra space?

We will provide a further update as soon as the FCA confirms the ‘go live’ date for seven digit FRNs.


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