FAQs

What is the service that SDM provide?
We provide two services:

1.      a download of the FCA Register via electronic delivery, which is a paid-for service.

2.      an online search tool that enables you to interrogate the FCA Register, which is provided free of charge.


How up to date is the data?

The FCA register itself is being updated constantly on a 24/7 basis by its members and by the FCA itself. Each week, on Thursday evening a snapshot is taken by the FCA which is called the FCA register extract. This is then usually uploaded onto our website on Friday morning and is processed by close of business on Friday. Most weeks all this is completed by early Friday afternoon, but sometimes the processes are completed late Friday afternoon. Very rarely, the processes are completed on the following Monday.  

Weekly subscribers can access this data each Friday. Thus, on the Friday all data is less than a week old. The worst case scenario is a firm whose details were updated that Friday morning; any changes relating to the firm would only be reflected the next week. Monthly subscribers access the data on the first Friday of each month. Thus, on this Friday all data is less than one month old. The worst case scenario here is a firm whose details were updated that Friday morning; any changes would only be reflected the next month. In these instances, data shown on the FCA website will not be the same as the data represented in the FCA register extract.

The whole register extract is updated, not an incremental version. 


How does the download work?

The register is supplied via our website, FTP site or HTPP protocol.  This is a quicker, easier, more reliable and more secure service than CD.


Will I be able to interrogate the Register straightaway

You will be able to interrogate the Register straightaway using our web browser software.  This delivers the results of your queries to the screen.

When downloading the data, you will need to import the Register data into your systems.  The data is provided in a number of formats so this is rarely a problem.  Once this is done, your own systems will be able to run the appropriate queries, selections and reports.  Another way of incorporating the Register is via XML queries.

We provide some standard queries are free-of-charge within our web-browser service to help you on the road to using the Register.  If you require any further programming help, SDM has enormous experience of the Register and will be happy to quote for any programming requirements


What is the purpose of the online search tool?

This is a complimentary service provided to our clients which allows them to run business-to-business enquiries, for instance a list of intermediaries authorised in the last month.  This contrasts with the FCA’s own website, which has been developed for consumer-based enquiries.


Do SDM amend the data in any way?
No, the register we provide you the data in exactly the same format as you would receive via the CD.
What is SDM’s background?

We have supplied the register to a large number of blue-chip clients since 1988, when the Financial Services Act of 1986 came into force.


What is the nature of SDM’s clients?

We have a varied client base but in general our clients are large financial services companies.


Do SDM offer a one-off supply of the register?

The FCA do not offer a one-off supply for compliance purposes.  This is because they wish to promote an on-going use of the register rather than a one-off use which will obviously become out-of-date.

We do offer a one-off usage for own-business (marketing) purposes.  However, the FCA wish to encourage regular downloads rather than a one-off use and this is reflected in the pricing.   Depending on what time of year the order is made, it would probably be cheaper to take out a regular download than a one-off purchase in any case.

It is important that clients have up-to-date versions of the register and so we encourage enquirers to take regular updates.


Can we just receive a subset of the data as we do not require the whole register?

Unfortunately, the FCA apply an ‘all or nothing’ policy to the register.  We can write selections to provide clients with subsets they would be interested in, for instance Scottish intermediaries or actuaries.


Can we have our own tailor-made download?

Yes, a number of our clients specify extracts from the register that they are interested in. This may be a selection of intermediaries in a given sales area, or a selection of your special intermediary partners, or a list of recently authorised or deauthorised intermediaries.  We would provide you a quotation for the development of your selection, and a quotation for a regular update of the selection. These fees are over and above the standard download fees.


How many firms are there?
There are about 100,000 firms although the figure obviously varies over time.
Can we just get individuals’ data and not companies data?

No, if you want individuals’ data the FCA require that you also purchase companies data.


Does the register contain email addresses?

Unfortunately, there is no email data on the register, although the FCA do gather some emails at the time of registration.


Can we set up an procedure to automatically download the register?

Yes, what it means is that you can automatically download the register into your systems every week (or month depending on your agreement).  This saves on time and labour, and means you are not subject to staff holidays or sickness.  Automation is achieved via a straightforward HTPP script.  The majority of our clients already do this.  Contact us and we will guide you through the procedure.


Can more than one of our operators access the service?

Yes, we can provide access to any number of operators.  However, we strongly recommend that access is limited to two or three authorised users.


How much is the service?

This depends on the purpose of your usage; if it is principally for compliance then one scale of fees applies, if it is mainly for other purposes (usually marketing) than another scale of fees applies.  It also depends on the frequency of use; weekly or monthly.

For the licence costs that apply with these scenarios, please view the costs page at http://www.sdm-fsa-register.co.uk/costs.aspx


How do I go about ordering the register?

You need to complete an order form and sign a register agreement with the FCA.  Both of these documents are available on our website. 

The licence agreement you take out with the FCA is an annual agreement from April through to March.  If you order the register at other time of year, pro-rata charges apply.  For instance, if you order in January, then the agreement will run for three months and one-quarter of the above charges will apply.  Please note you cannot take out an agreement for less than three months.


What agreement do I take out with SDM?

The provision of our download services is covered by your own standard terms on your Purchase Order.  This covers our download service, and not the data contained in the register.  SDM cannot, of course, be held responsible for the accuracy of the data contained within the register.


How much do SDM charge for their services?

SDM charge £1,600 per annum for the weekly download and £995 per annum for the monthly download.  As above, these fees are applied pro-rata depending on when the order is made.  For the individuals’ data there is a further charge of £200. These charges are included in the above tables.


What are the charges for our own specific downloads and selections?

We charge a reasonable set-up fee of about £500 to £1,000 for this depending on the complexity of the selection.  We charge £150 per download, so for example a monthly download of a specific selection would cost £1,800 per annum.


Are there any terms and conditions relevant to the use of the interrogation software?

Yes, SDM provide this service free of charge and as such accept no liability whatsoever in relation to its use.  A copy of the terms and conditions is available on our website.

Note that we are of course obliged to provide the download services in a timely, reliable manner.