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FCA extension of senior managers' and certification regime - comment PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Charlotte Henry, a financial services partner at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, said:   “The extension will see the regime apply to over 50,000 additional firms for the first time. This includes asset managers, brokers, investment firms, consumer credit firms and foreign firms operating in the UK through a branch.

Although the regulator has stated that it will adopt a ‘lighter touch’ for some types of firms, the basic elements of the regime will need to be complied with by all firms.

This means putting forward in writing to the regulator exactly what identified senior managers of a firm are responsible for and those senior managers accepting that they have a personal duty to the regulator in relation to those responsibilities (which can result in personal sanctions if that duty is not discharged).

Firms will be responsible to the regulator for the fitness and propriety of relevant staff members (with regulatory consequences for firms if they are not fit and proper) and making sure that all employees comply with new conduct rules. This regime also has, in certain circumstances, extraterritorial effect and senior managers located outside the UK may be within scope.

The implementation of the regime is intensive and complex, particularly for smaller firms, involving a cross-collaboration between HR, compliance and legal departments. But the biggest burden on firms will be continuing to operate in compliance with the regime as part of business-as-usual. In addition, senior managers will need extra support to ensure they are discharging their duty of reasonable steps, training, upskilling of HR, the introduction of new procedures and processes, and a review of employment and insurance policies are all key. The FCA will want to see that the new conduct rules are actually embedded in the firm’s day-to-day business. The cultural shift for newly affected firms will be significant.”

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