New asset management firms seeking entry to the market will be able to benefit from additional resources and assistance before, during and after the authorisation process, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced.

The first phase of the FCA's asset management authorisation 'hub' includes dedicated case managers, weekly pre-application meetings for asset managers and a new web portal. Further resources, including open days for firms, will be introduced next year and surgeries are also planned, according to the regulator.

The initiative will make it easier for new asset management firms to understand how the FCA works, make a complete application for authorisation and then transition from authorisation to supervision, according to the regulator. It will not lower entry standards, and firms applying for authorisation will still need to meet the same rigorous standards as current firms if they are to be successful.

Megan Butler, the FCA's executive director of supervision for the investment, wholesale and specialist markets, said that the asset management sector was an "important" one for the UK economy.

"We want to aid new entrants to the market, and the hub will help new firms understand us better as an organisation," she said.

The FCA currently regulates more than 3,000 asset managers. Last year, it approved 300 new asset management firms.

According to the FCA, the new project will provide "end to end support for firms moving through the start-up cycle". The new resources will clarify its expectations of firms, provide better guidance and make the relevant information easier to access, it said.

The web portal contains detailed information for firms about all stages of the application process. This includes things to consider before applying, guides to preparing and making an application and information about what firms need to do once they are successfully authorised.

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