FCA in talks to include ARs in senior managers regime

FCA in talks to include ARs in senior managers regime

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it is still in talks with HM Treasury over including appointed representatives in the senior managers regime.

The regime was introduced to banks in 2016 and is being expanded to cover all regulated firms in December but in 2017 it emerged the FCA lacked the legal power to impose the regime on appointed representatives - advisers who are members of networks - since the legislation which introduced the regime means it can only be rolled-out to directly authorised firms.

This would have required the Treasury to legislate to allow the regime to cover appointed representatives but in the end the FCA decided to roll out the new rules without including network members.

But Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision and authorisations at the FCA, said: "I definitely wouldn't say [the exclusion of appointed representatives] is permanent.

"We are definitely thinking about that and it is subject to discussions with HM Treasury. It is really a decision for the Treasury and the government because it requires legislation.

"I think the answer is not that they are excluded forever more but it is 'watch this space'."

Under the regime, anyone who holds a senior management function at an advice firm can be held accountable for failings at the firm.

They 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.

Meanwhile the certification element of the regime will mean employees whose role means it's possible for them to cause significant harm to the firm or customers will not need to be approved by the FCA, but firms will need to check and certify that they are fit and proper to perform their role at least once a year.

In 2017 there were concerns about how appointed representatives would be affected by the regime, since they might not be listed on the FCA register if their network became their "senior manager" on the grounds it handles members’ compliance.

But the FCA has since announced it will create a directory where all advisers will be listed after the senior managers regime is introduced, regardless of their status under the new rules.