Changes to firm and fund identity formats worries experts

The Financial Conduct Authority is planning to change the format it uses for firm reference numbers (FRNs) and product reference numbers (PRNs).

The regulator uses FRNs to identify firms while PRNs identify funds.

The regulator uses a six-digit format for both FRNs and PRNs. Yet, it is likely to reach the six-digit limit during 2023. This is due to the volume of applications and notifications.

As a result, the FCA is planning to move to seven-digit FRNs and PRNs. This will apply for all newly registered firms and funds.

The FCA has not fixed a date yet. It stated it is “on track to make the necessary changes to our internal systems in good time”.

Firms that have previously been allocated a six-digit FRN or PRN will keep that number.

Seven-digit numbers will start to be allocated for new applications and notifications once the six-digit range is exhausted.

Apricity head or regulatory support Maddie Delboy told Money Marketing: “On the surface this is a very small change and has limited implications, especially to existing authorized firms.

“The only issue I can foresee are on agency or product based applications which are often done online or on forms (be it electronic or paper based).

“A lot of these fields only allow for six digits to be input and no room for further expansion, so unless product / agency providers are prioritizing these form amendments in the next six months then this could be an issue for newly authorized firms.

“It’s a very minute detail, but something that could potentially hold up applications that are already labor intensive.”

The FCA declined a request from Money Marketing to comment.

Yesterday (23 June), the regulator said it is using data to tackle online fraud faster by scanning thousands of websites daily to identify scams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.