Firm Reference Numbers (FRNs) will likely reach the six-digit limit this year. Therefore, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will soon use seven digits for newly registered firms.

Organisations are being advised to implement system updates for the longer numbers to ensure day-to-day operations are not impacted and that they can process these correctly. If financial services systems can't process seven-digit FRNs, they will either fail to process transactions or potentially – just as seriously – use incorrect, truncated FRNs.

We have been working through more than 20 affected Standards to support customers making these essential changes, and we are pleased to announce that these have now all been amended and are ready for organisations to implement. We also took the opportunity to add optional support for reference numbers from regulatory bodies other than the FCA (for example, offshore jurisdictions) and an optional test indicator that identifies if the reference number is for test purposes.

The following Standards have been updated: