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FCA introduces a new financial promotions regulatory gateway

The FCA has issued a policy statement, confirming it will proceed with a financial promotions regulatory gateway.

By introducing a gateway, the FCA will have a greater understanding of the types of promotions that are being approved and the skills and expertise of principals approving such promotions. This should allow the regulator to have a more targeted approach, intervening more quickly to prevent consumer harm.

AMI believes the impact on mortgage intermediary firms will be limited, given there are a number of exceptions.

Impact on mortgage intermediary firms

It will be the responsibility of the principal mortgage intermediary firm to assess whether it needs to apply for the gateway.

However, AMI believes the impact on mortgage intermediary firms should be limited, as the following are exempt:

  • Financial promotions prepared by appointed representatives, where the promotion relates to a regulated activity for which the authorised person has agreed to accept responsibility.
  • Financial promotions prepared by unauthorised persons within the same corporate group.
  • Own promotions (for communication by unauthorised persons).

Some mortgage intermediary firms may be impacted if they sign-off promotions that are:

  •  Not their own promotions and
  •  Are to be communicated by an unauthorised person.

For example, a lead generation company creates its own advert that is deemed a financial promotion; this will be displayed on the lead generator’s landing page and a mortgage intermediary firm ‘signs-off’ the financial promotions as a Section 21 approver*.

*AMI’s understanding is that many of the large unregulated lead generator firms (such as Unbiased) already have an FCA regulated firm signing off all their financial promotions as a Section 21 approver. We do not believe this approach is likely to change as a result of the new gateway.

Note – where a mortgage intermediary firm creates its own promotion, such as an advert promoting its advice services that runs on social media and is managed by a third party marketing agency we do not believe this would be within scope, given the exemption category ‘own promotions (for communications by unauthorised persons)’.

From 7 February 2024, firms that have not applied to the gateway will no longer be able to approve financial promotions of unauthorised persons (aside from the exemptions noted above).

Next steps

If a firm believes it is in scope it will need to apply for the new FCA permission via a Variation of Permission (VoP) on Connect. AMI will update members once we know more about the application process. Annex 1 of the Policy Statement summarises the types of information the FCA will ask as part of the gateway application process.

Applications for the gateway open on 6 November 2023 and close on 6 February 2024.

The new gateway will come fully into force on 7 February 2024.

Other useful information

  • There is a £5,000 application fee. AMI lobbied against this application fee in its consultation response, arguing it felt too high in comparison to other application fees. The FCA responded to state it has reviewed the fee and feels it is an accurate reflection of the work and resources involved to review and approve applications.
  • There are additional requirements on firms that hold the new permission, such as ad-hoc reporting and a bi-annual reporting requirement. We have not included full details of the additional requirements in this update, therefore firms that believe they are within scope should refer to the FCA Policy Statement.
  • There is a transition period for existing authorised firms which want to apply to the gateway and already approve financial promotions.
  • The statutory deadline under FSMA for FCA to determine gateway applications is 6 months for a complete application and 12 months for an incomplete application.
  • Once approved, a firm’s ability to approve financial promotions under the gateway will be publicly available on the Financial Services Register from 7 February 2024.
  • The FCA is to conduct a review of its approach within 24 months of the rules coming into force.

We encourage firms that believe they need to apply for the gateway to read the FCA’s policy statement in full.

What’s AMI’s view?

AMI is broadly supportive of the introduction of a gateway; however it is important the FCA continues to monitor and intervene on promotions that breach its requirements, particularly ‘poor’ performing regulated firms with misleading adverts that could impact the reputation of the wider mortgage intermediary industry.

It appears the FCA is becoming more assertive in this area, as we have recently seen a sharp increase in the number of financial promotions it has asked firms to amend or withdraw. However, we continue to hear from a number of member firms that are frustrated by the volume of adverts they believe are in breach of the FCA’s requirements. For example, adverts promoting second charge loans with a non-existent rate that is below bank rate. We encourage firms to report any financial promotions that they believe do not comply with the FCA’s financial promotions requirements using the FCA’s online reporting tool. We have also raised specific concerns with FCA sector team contacts and ask our members to continue to supply insight to us via

As there is a £5,000 fee to apply for the gateway, as well as reporting requirements, we encourage firms that believe they are within scope to carefully consider the viability of their application and approach, by assessing factors such as their business strategy, how they acquire new business, internal resources and their own expertise and capabilities.

For any queries, please contact


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