The first cohort of firms to move away from Gabriel and onto the Financial Conduct Authority’s new data system will begin the process next month, the regulator has revealed.
The City watchdog announced today (September 23) that companies in the first batch to be transferred will move to RegData over the weekend of 17 and 18 October, and will then complete their regulatory reporting on the new system.
Firms will continue to be moved to RegData from Gabriel "in the coming months" in stages, based on their reporting requirements.
All 52,000 firms which use the data collection service will receive emails from Gabriel advising them of their moving date.
Advisers will receive three emails — one three weeks before the move, a second one five days prior and a final notification the day before they move to RegData.
Compliance consultants will also receive reminders for every firm their user account is currently associated with in Gabriel.
Firms will be unable to access RegData until they and their users’ data has been moved across from Gabriel. Until then, firms should continue to report via Gabriel, the FCA said.
The FCA has launched a series of explainer videos and step-by-step user guides to take advisers through each aspect of the RegData platform.
The regulator announced last year it would be replacing Gabriel and move to a new platform for its data collection systems in a bid to improve the way it collects data from firms.
At the time, it pledged to deliver an “efficient, easy-to-use” system as Gabriel’s replacement.
Advisers have often battled the regulator’s Gabriel system, which last December experienced a five-day blackout that hampered some advisers' attempts to meet the Retail Mediation Activities Return deadline.
The new platform, RegData, is part of a larger overhaul of the FCA’s data and digital strategy announced in January.
The FCA said it wanted to be “smarter” in the way it used technology to better understand the firms it regulates and trends in the market, which in turn would "transform the way it regulates and reduce the burden on firms".
Projects include a new data operating model, improvements to the regulator’s existing central data services, and the launch of new management and analytical tools to create in-house technology platforms.
This will be done alongside the introduction of RegData as well as an effort to digitise parts of the FCA handbook.
But board minutes from July revealed the watchdog has faced a “range of challenges” while pursuing its digital transformation work and the board was told the programme of work was in the “upper quartile of difficulty”.
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