Obtaining of a SPI license in the United Kingdom | Law&Trust International

SPI License - Company registration in the UK


The currency exchange market is regulated by special Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK under the Directive on Payment Services of 2009, as well as by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2007.

The Financial Conduct Authority has a two-tier structure for financial institutions under the Directive on Payment Services: SPI and API.

All companies engaged in the provision of currency exchange services must also obtain a license from the HMRC.

Each license of the Financial Conduct Authority foresees various possibilities applicable to all companies on the market, and also specifies the requirements and limitations, depending on the specifics of license. For example, companies holding an API license are required to maintain a minimum level of own funds, while this condition does not apply to those holding a SPI license.

Preparing an application for a SPI License

In order to apply for an API license, you must meet the following criteria:


  • Application should be made in accordance to special Directives of the FCA. Also managers of the company should have a good reputation and relevant experience in the field of financial services.
  • Total amount of expected average monthly transactions should not exceed 3 millions EUR.
  • None of the managers should be charged with money laundering, terrorism or other criminal offenses;
  • Main office and office of registration should be located in United Kingdom.
  • Application should comply with the requirements, specified in the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2007.
  • There should be one resident of Great Britain in the management for doing business and creating an actual office;
  • And other optional requirements to be applicable in rare cases.
The FCA will decline or reject any Application, which is in non-compliance with the above-mentioned requirements. You should have at least one managing Director, who is the resident of the UK. Today, the foregoing requirement has high priority for the FCA.
Our company Law&Trust International can help you to handle that issue concerning UK Resident. Regarding time frames (terms), each case takes a different amount of time, starting from two weeks up to three months.
If you are interested, please contact us via email or by phone, and our lawyers will inform you about prices and time frames.

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