The time it takes the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to give approval to start a new business in the UK has increased significantly in the past nine months, the FT reports.
It said data from the watchdog showed authorisations for new firms - which include independent financial advisers and investment banks - took an average 19.6 weeks in the first quarter.
It said that was an increase of 13% since June 2011, when the FSA took about 17.3 weeks.
The data was released following a freedom of information request from law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain.
The FT said waiting periods had moved up and down since the FSA dropped its light touch approach and put in place stricter scrutiny after the 2008 financial crisis.
The law firm said the current longer waiting periods may reflect the difficulties associated with splitting the watchdog into two separate entities.
The FSA is now made up of two business units, the Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. It will formally break up next year.
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