SM&CR – The Clock is Ticking

While an increasing focus has been given over to the FCA’s review of motor finance, only limited reference has been given to the escalating regulatory scrutiny of almost all regulated firms by the introduction of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR). SM&CR, which isdue to be implemented in the consumer credit sector on December 9, will replace thecurrent Approved Persons regime.

MotoNovo Finance is encouraging all senior leaders within dealerships to ask themselves:“Are we ready for SM&CR and the additional responsibility that it places on me?”

SM&CRaims to increase the personal accountability of everyone working in financial services but particularly those in senior roles, including motor dealers offering finance. All dealers offering finance must have an Approved Person who will need to transfer to the new Senior Management Function (SMF) structure under SM&CR.

As well as some important validation steps laid out on the FCA’s website, dealers should ensure they have robust processes and controls in place to support the consistent delivery of good customer outcomes.

MotoNovo Deputy CEO Karl Werner is conscious that dealers need to collectively lead a cultural change in the motor industry, noting; “SM&CR perfectly complements the findings from the FCA review. All these changes are built around encouraging a more sustainable industry; one in which the customer is empowered and experiences a journey that’s simple and familiar. SM&CR embodies the principles of good conduct and a culture that is set up to ‘do the right thing’ for customers.

“What every firm needs to establish and sustain is a culture that empowers and protects customers. We are encouraging all dealers to act now and are offering guidance to help dealers start thinking about next steps, but this is not something we can do for them.”

“As a business MotoNovo is committed to growing the market for motor finance and reaching as many customers as possible to help them make an informed and suitable decision when it comes to funding their vehicle purchase.

“We’re here to support our dealer partners, but we need every dealership to step up and embrace this industry-wide cultural change. In the other sectors of financial services already affected by SM&CR, there have been personal fines and there is also the potential for custodial sentences. Now, is the time for dealers to get on-board with the necessary changes.”