The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed a new directory which will include all the individuals who hold senior manager positions, which require FCA approval and those whose roles require their firms to certify that they are fit and proper. These including consumer-facing roles, such as mortgage and investment advisers.
As previously reported by thewealthnet the SCMR would have replaced the existing FCA Approved Persons register. A move that was criticised by bodies including the CISI. The new plans seem to respond to these concerns.
Based on feedback of what consumers and firms wanted from the new directory, it aims to help consumers and firms check the status and history of individuals working in financial services and has been designed to provide practical and simply information in a user-friendly manner, the FCA said. It added that the directory includes more information about individuals working in financial services than is currently available.
The FCA is also publishing the near final rules on the extension of the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR) to almost all regulated firms. Firms can now access the guides to the SMCR to understand what steps they need to take to prepare for its implementation.
Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision (retail and authorisations) at the FCA, said: “Today’s publications are all about making sure that consumers can interact confidently with financial services professionals by setting clear standards for the behaviour of those individuals, and making available information about their fitness and propriety.
Suvro Dutta, partner and SMCR lead for KPMG UK, commented: “The FCA’s proposal to create a public directory of individuals is to be welcomed, it shows the regulator has listened to industry feedback and most importantly, a directory would add a further layer of transparency helping to enhance trust in financial services professionals. This is an important debate for the industry to have.
“If implemented pragmatically and proportionately, SMCR will lead to a more resilient UK financial services sector; crucially this is a test of governance and not a regulation so a common sense approach from both firms and regulators is critical. In the last two years we have seen SMCR positively impact decision making in UK banks so rolling it out to the wider financial services sector creates a sound, clear and consistent framework for governance and supervision.”