The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) now applies to FCA and PRA-regulated firms.
As part of its remit to improve accountability and integrity across the financial sector, SM&CR also introduced a centralised directory listing key personnel for firms in the UK. Banks, building societies, credit unions and insurers must submit the required information for inclusion by 9 March 2020.
Greater transparency over senior roles with SM&CR
Available to the general public, the directory promotes transparency and offers greater assurance that key roles are held by people who are ‘fit and proper’, with appropriate qualifications and experience. It will help reduce the risk of fraud by allowing customers to verify the skills of financial professionals they work with, as well as helping firms to check references and suitability for key roles. Legal, professional and regulatory bodies will also be able to monitor market integrity more effectively.
The directory builds on the work of the FS register and introduces data on a wider range of roles. Some information will be accessible via both platforms and, while they will initially run side by side, they may be combined in the future.
The directory stores information on:
Directors performing non-SMF roles (executives and non-executives)
Sole traders and appointed representatives (ARs) acting as agents for FCA approved firms
The directory will include information such as employer details, roles held (past and present), areas of expertise, qualifications, professional memberships and details of any sanctions or prohibitions. Going live at the end of March, firms must make sure the directory is kept up to date (within seven days of a new joiner or leaver) and, if there are no changes within 12 months, the data must be verified.
What about solo-regulated firms?
Solo regulated firms moved under SM&CR last year and have until 9 December 2020 to certify staff and submit relevant information to the Directory.
What to do now?
The Connect portal is available for banks, building societies, insurers and credit unions to upload their information before the 9 March deadline. Late or inaccurate submissions to the register will be subject to a late fee.