On December 13, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updated its webpage for the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) for solo-regulated firms. In particular, the FCA added two new sections to the landing page: “Ongoing requirements for firms;” and “Other considerations.”

SM&CR went into effect for the remaining FCA-authorized firms on December 9. For more information, please see the December 13 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.

Under “Ongoing requirements for firms,” the FCA noted that firms need to:

  • understand which (if any) Certification Functions apply to them and identify the individuals which need to be certified on an annual basis;
  • ensure that fitness and propriety checks, criminal records checks and regulatory references are incorporated into the firm’s existing recruitment and other HR processes; and
  • consider how staff will be trained on the Conduct Rules, and identify ancillary staff to whom the Conduct Rules do not apply.

Under “Other considerations,” the FCA noted the following:

  • while senior managers can delegate to others, this does not reduce their accountability, and therefore senior managers should ensure that their delegation is reasonable, to an appropriate person, and with appropriate oversight;
  • Senior Management Functions (SMFs) do not need to be held by members of the governing body;
  • if a firm did not need a compliance officer or money laundering reporting officer under the Approved Persons Regime (APR), they will not need to fill those roles under SM&CR;
  • firms should check the FS Register (available here) to make sure that the correct senior management functions are listed; and
  • firms are welcome, although not obliged, to extend the fitness and propriety assessment to those outside of the Certification Regime.