On 4 March 2020, the FCA issued a statement on Covid-19.
Key points in the FCA statement include:
- the FCA expects all firms to have contingency plans in place to deal with major events;
- alongside the Bank of England the FCA is actively reviewing the contingency plans of a wide range of firms. This includes assessments of operational risks, the ability of firms to continue to operate effectively and the steps firms are taking to serve and support their customers;
- the FCA expects firms to take all reasonable steps to meet their regulatory obligations. For example, the FCA expects firms to be able to enter orders and transactions promptly into the relevant systems, use recorded lines when trading and give staff access to the compliance support they need. If firms are able to meet these standards and undertake these activities from backup sites or with staff working from home, the FCA has no objection to this; and
- the FCA is discussing with firms and trade associations any particular issues they may have and are working with them to resolve these. The FCA wants to understand the pressures they are facing and will be continuing its active dialogue with firms, institutions and industry bodies in the coming days and weeks. The FCA will keep its guidance under review as necessary.
In terms of an employer’s duty to its employees in the context of Coronavirus, please refer to our blog here.