RegulationAug 9 2017

Tenet questions FCA's manager rules for networks

Search sponsored by
Tenet questions FCA's manager rules for networks
ByDamian Fantato

Adviser network Tenet has questioned the need to extend to new rules about accountability in financial services to its organisation, and others like it, which house appointed representatives.

In July, the Financial Conduct Authority published a consultation into its plans to extend the incoming senior managers regime to the whole financial services sector, including financial advisers.

But it has not yet clarified how the regime will apply to networks and appointed representatives, with another consultation on this due soon.

The rules, initially created for staff working in banks, but now intended to cover all those working in the financial sector, are designed to make senior managers explicitly responsible for the actions of those within their firm below them.

A spokesperson for Tenet said networks - which already take on the responsibilities of 'principal' for their appointed representative advisers - would require “proportionality and differentiation”.

She said: “There is still a separate consultation due in respect of appointed representatives, but at present, we would question the benefits in relation to the cost and administration of implementing this regime.

“The FCA has sufficient enforcement powers to hold wrongdoers within the industry to account as evidenced by the final notices it publishes.

“This will not however do anything to remove those operating outside of the law i.e the scammers, and with the changes to the Financial Services Register, this arguably makes the scammer’s life easier, which cannot be an intended consequence.”

When the regime comes into effect, only senior managers will be listed on the FCA’s register.

This has raised concerns about how networks will be affected, with the prospect that their members might not be listed at all if their network becomes their “senior manager”, on the grounds that it does its members' compliance.

A spokesman for rival network Intrinsic said it will engage directly with the FCA on the senior managers regime and how it affects appointed representatives.

"We will continue to focus on effective oversight and risk management for our network members whatever the outcome of the consultation,” they said.

The regulator has not yet set a date for when the rules will commence but it expects to publish final rules next year following a consultation.

Under the regime, anyone who holds a senior management function at an advice firm will need to be approved by the FCA and every senior manager will need to fill out a statement of responsibilities explaining what they are responsible for.

This will need to be approved by the FCA when it is first filled out and when there are changes to it.