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Senior Managers & Certification Regime

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) replaces the current Approved Persons regime for all solo regulated firms [1] on 9th December 2019.

It impacts pretty much all staff from the Board and Senior Managers to those involved in any aspect of regulated activity. Thistle is well-versed in the new requirements and we are already helping firms prepare for the new regime.

SM&CR will:

  • Replace Approved Persons with Senior Managers and specify new responsibilities for Senior Managers.
  • Require firms to identify staff in the next tier of management down and those performing certain roles. On at least an annual basis firms must determine the suitability of such individuals and certify them as being ft for the roles they perform.
  • Introduce criminal record checks for Senior Managers and NEDs.
  • Bring in a template for regulatory references for Senior Managers and certification staff and extend FIT to cover certified staff too.
  • Introduce Conduct Rules for all staff (except for those in an ancillary role such as cleaners), require staff to be trained in the rules as these apply to their role. There are additional rules for Senior Managers and breaches of the rules must be reported to the Regulator.

[1] SM&CR does not apply to payment services firms or Appointed Representatives

What you need to do to prepare for SM&CR

If your firm isn’t yet up to speed don’t worry there’s still time, but you do need to start making preparations because the regime comes into effect on 9th December this year.

This is a significant change to the way in which the FCA regulates senior staff, it provides more opportunity for scrutiny of your organisational structures and it confers more responsibility on firms themselves to ensure that staff are fit and proper for the roles and responsibilities which they have been allocated.

Crucially your preparation should include looking at your firm’s current structure and ensuring you have the right people in the right roles. You will need to consider who will be captured by the certification regime – some roles such as the current CF30 – will automatically need to be certified.

There is also the question of training in the new conduct rules and ensuring you have a process in place to identify and report breaches.

It’s a lot to consider but there is support on hand.

Download our sector-specific factsheets,10 steps to SM&CR compliance below:

How can Thistle help you?

At Thistle, we are already supporting hundreds of firms to get ready for the new regime.  We have walked firms through the elements of the regime, explained how these impact their business, provided advice and answered a wide range of questions.

In short, we are well prepared to help you prepare.

We will:

  • Talk through the regime with you and discuss how SM&CR will impact your Board, your Senior Managers and the wider firm.
  • Conduct a gap analysis to establish where you are now and map where you need to be.
  • Help you to develop compliant processes and documentation.
  • Provide online and bespoke training to cover all staff impacted by the regime.

To find out more about how we can help make preparing for SM&CR an altogether less stressful experience contact us today. You can reach us via filling in our contact form, email info@thistleinitiatives.co.uk or call 0207 436 0630.


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