On 13 December 2019, the FCA updated its webpage on the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR) for solo-regulated firms. The updated webpage contains reminders and clarifications on ongoing requirements for firms and other considerations.

In particular, the FCA reminds firms:

  • to identify the individuals that need to be certified on an annual basis and that annual fitness and propriety checks for certification staff and senior managers fit into the firm’s HR processes;
  • to ensure that the appropriate processes to obtain criminal records checks for new senior managers are in place;
  • to understand the conduct rules training and reporting requirements for senior managers and all other staff;
  • that senior managers can delegate to others, however, this does not reduce their accountability for what they delegate. Senior managers should ensure that the delegation should be reasonable in itself, the individuals to whom they have delegated are appropriate and equipped with suitable skills, and they should retain an appropriate level of oversight;
  • that senior management functions (SMFs) are not restricted to members of the governing body. For example, the SMF3 executive director function extends beyond members of the governing body to include ‘a person in accordance with whose directions or instructions (not being advice given in a professional capacity) the directors of that body are accustomed to act’; and
  • that SMFs appeared on the Financial Services Register on 9 December 2019. Firms should check the FS register to ensure they have the correct SMFs.

If you do not yet have your implementation plans fully in place, or are grappling with the transitional provisions, we can help. We offer a range of solutions, including our SMCR toolkit which provides access to a range of key documents that are needed in order to implement the SMCR in your business. The toolkit comes with legal and compliance support should that be required. We can also provide a fully comprehensive set of training packages.

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