06 March 2015 - Post by:Sarah Hitchins
After months of speculation within the industry, HM Treasury has confirmed that the new Senior Managers and Certification Regime will come into force on 7 March 2016. Most firms will be breathing a sigh of relief at this news as they now have considerably more time to implement the new regime. However, any relief may be short-lived given that there is still a lot of work for firms to be doing in order to get ready for implementation. For example:
- Firms will need to notify the FCA and the PRA of the names of their proposed Senior Managers by 8 February 2016.
- Systems and controls will need to be implemented and ready to assess and certify the fitness and propriety of individuals falling within the Certification Regime by 7 March 2017.
- training for all staff (excluding those holding ‘ancillary functions’ such as catering and security staff) on the new Code of Conduct will need to be rolled-out across firms by 7 March 2016 for Senior Managers and Certified Persons and by 7 March 2017 for all others. Standard ‘one size fits all’ training will not suffice though – the regulators have made it clear that training will need to be tailored to an individual’s specific role and responsibilities.
In order to assist firms with their journey towards implementation of the new regime, the FCA is proposing to issue a further publication later this month which will detail further steps that the FCA and the PRA are proposing to take before the commencement of the new regime. However, given the further publications that the FCA and the PRA still need to issue (including their consultation on UK branches of overseas firms), it may be some months yet before we see the finalised FCA and PRA rules.
In the meantime, firms may be best served by taking steps to implement the new regime so far as is possible in the absence of confirmation of the final rules. This approach will help to ensure that firms get ahead are not forced to start from ‘square one’ when the regulators finally issue the final rules for the new regime.