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Obtaining an EMI license in UK: pros & cons

October 13, 2020

The Electronic Money Directive is the UKs answer to controlling and standardising Electronic Money Regulations and electronic money institutions. The regulations have now created a separate authorisation for issuers of electronic money in the UK that are not full credit institutions, unions, or publicly funded banks.

The FCA’s definition of electronic money is “monetary value stored electronically, which is issued on receipt of funds and can be utilised for making payment transactions and accepted by an individual other than its issuer.” Small EMIs in the UK have less rigorous capital requirements than authorised electronic money institutions; however, they need to be registered in accordance with regulation 13 of the Electronic Money Regulations.

Eltoma Corporate Services can apply for license to become a small electronic money institution (EMI) on your behalf.

UK EMI Application Requirements

Firstly, you need to provide us with the following documentation before we can proceed:

  • The companies proposed area of business in the form of a business plan.
  • Proof of internal procedures, for example the structures in place to run a business effectively people responsible for e-money and payment services businesses- similar to a companies memorandum of association.
  • A detailed description of how the funds of electronic money holders will be effectively safeguarded.
  • Documentary evidence that when trading starts, the business will generate a monthly average outstanding electronic money of less than EUR €5
  • Documentary evidence that, the monthly average of payment services transactions from the last 12 months did not exceed EUR €3 million.
  • Documentary evidence that initial capital requirements can be met.

Primarily, all EMIs must provide information for any directors; persons responsible for the management of the small EMI or any agent with the FCA via Connect and the activities of issuing e-money and payment services.

Eltoma Corporate Services can help you with the entire registration process, contact us for a no obligation consultation. EMIs must also inform the FCA via Connect if agents are changed, if any particulars change or if they stop dealing with an agent. Eltoma Corporate Services can assist with all FCA communication on your behalf.

Application timeline & procedure

The FCA should acknowledge applications within 5 business days. A case officer will then be assigned to the application, to assess the information provided and make a determination. Application are usually reviewed and accepted within 3 months of receipt (if all the information was accurately provided or 12 months of receipt if the application was incomplete).

Please note that a submission for authorisation or registration may not be accepted where it fails to provide the minimum information set out in: An FCA-regulated company must comply with the rules that apply to it. For payment and electronic money institutions, these include the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (the EMRs).

UK EMI Obligations

Companies must continue to meet the conditions of authorisation at all times. These are the conditions on which companies are granted permission by the FCA to provide payment services and issue money electronically within the UK. If any companies are identified as not meeting these conditions, or otherwise failing to comply with the regulations, the FCA will take action to ensure the EMIs clients are protected accordingly.

The FCA’s Principles for Businesses (PRIN) were extended to apply to EMIs from August 2019. The Principles are a general statement regarding the basic commitments of companies. Breaching a Principle makes a company liable to disciplinary penalties by the FCA.

  1. Adequate risk management –EMIs must ensure they have adequate financial resources and sufficient capital to be able to incur losses whilst staying solvent, and owning enough liquid assets to be able to pay debts and meet obligations accordingly.
  2. Combatting and preventing financial crime – All EMIs should be alert to the risk they could be used to enable fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, including bribery and corruption.
  3. Safeguarding policies –EMIs must have appropriate safeguarding arrangements so that, if a company becomes insolvent, client funds are returned in a timely and organised manner. Companies must be able to show that relevant funds are appropriately identified and managed on a daily basis.
  4. Record management and reporting– EMIs must maintain records relating to their continued compliance with UK legislation and regulations.

Eltoma Corporate Services have local representatives that can ensure the basic provisions and regulations are adhered to, contact us for more information on any of the above information.

UK Electronic Money Institution (EMI) Licensing

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