1This chapter applies to:
This chapter does not apply to an authorised professional firm:
whose main business is the practice of its profession; and
whose regulated activities covered by this chapter are incidental to its main business.
A firm's main business is the practice of its profession if the proportion of income it derives from professional fees is, during its annual accounting period, at least 50% of the firm's total income (a temporary variation of not more than 5% may be disregarded for this purpose).
Professional fees are fees, commissions and other receipts receivable in respect of legal, accountancy, conveyancing and surveying services provided to clients but excluding any items receivable in respect of regulated activities.
This chapter builds on the threshold condition referred to at COND 2.4 (Appropriate resources) by providing that a firm must meet, on a continuing basis, a basic solvency requirement. This chapter also builds on Principle 4 which requires a firm to maintain adequate financial resources by setting out prudential requirements for a firm according to what type of firm it is.
More generally, having adequate prudential resources gives the firm a degree of resilience and some indication to customers of creditworthiness, substance and the commitment of its owners. Prudential standards aim to ensure that a firm has prudential resources which can provide cover for operational and compliance failures and pay redress, as well as reducing the possibility of a shortfall in funds and providing a cushion against disruption if the firm ceases to trade.