Forex FCA Licence SPI or API


Trading yourself on behalf of clients.

IFAC can set you up to trade with a forex licence.

The FCA fees vary depending on the route you take:

  1. Payments institution (small ) (£500 application fee with the FCA and no cap ad.)
  2. Emoney (small or big) £1k or £5k application fee and cap ad is solvency plus business plan stress tests)
  3. Advising and arranging on spot forex - whcih is the same as Authorised Payment Institution... paragraph 1 f of £750 FCA application fee plus basic cap ad of EUR20k
  4. As per 3 and holding client money/ debit cards etc see paragraph 1 a to e of - EUR125k Cap add plus £5k application fee.
  5. As per 3. Plus dealing with client consent paragraph 1 g of - EUR50K cap ad plus £5k FCA application fee.

This depends on your future plans.

In truth, most FCA regulated forex brokers choose option 1 - and register as a small payment institution.

This is because e-Money usually means debit cards, and the firms don't advise and arrange, they just deal. And holding client money or dealing as principal is normally only associated when involving rolling spot forex trading. If you don't use spot forex contracts, and you just swap one currency for another for a turn, then you can choose SPI.

SPI Small payments institution FCA licence

Using the small payments institution route you can buy and sell on behalf of clients.

To apply for the SPI licence you need the following

  • There is no specific capital adequacy for those firms holding an SPI licence - although you have to be solvent.
  • You also have to register with HMRC under the Money Laundering Regulations as a money transmitter.
  • Understand the Payment Services Directive 2009 that effectively is your law.
  • You must have appropriate knowledge and experience to provide payment services and be "fit and proper".
  • Average monthly payment transactions must not exceed €3million.
  • Your "mind and management" must be in the UK.
  • IFAC can supply the appropriate directors, senior managers and compliance staff for your firm.

IFAC will charge £175 pm plus vat to handle your application for you and see you through the first year of authorisation - minimum term one year.

Authorised payments institution FCA licence

Our role will be to submit and achieve FCA authorisation as an API as quickly as possible.


After authorisation we will continue to act for you as your compliance manager.

We audit the process, see you regularly and keep you acting in accordance with FCA rules etc.

Our key is to satisfy and give comfort to the FCA that your activities are beyond reproach (which of course means that they must be so)

After authorisation we will submit FCA returns, regularly audit your process and give you a compliance management system Bat that will operate as your platform.  The system will not trade for you but will keep a record of activities in line with FCA requirements.

At some stage in your business life you may be able to afford a full time compliance director, and we can help recruit that role at that time, and we usually go on to support that individual with T&C and knowledge etc.


We can get the application submitted within a week of receiving all the relevant paperwork required (procedure manual / biz plans  etc).

We have a large number of template documents that will need adjusting for you.

The FCA can take up to six months, but we would expect three months to be more likely as of current climate. 

The largest part of the delays is waiting for a case officer to be appointed.

Once you have one, the process is quite quick - they usually have a few questions and once answered, you are in.


We charge £350 pm plus vat (£420 pm including 20% VAT.)

The fee is payable monthly in advance from the  day that you/we submit the application to the FCA and the minimum period is 12 months.


If keen please sign the below link.  We will be in touch with formal paperwork and start to build the application the following day - the first step would be a formal visit  to go through the soft facts to enable us to build the application.

Apply now