Extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime
The Treasury has decided that the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) for solo-regulated firms will commence on 9 December 2019. All regulated firms, including insurance intermediaries will then be subject to the new requirements. The SM&CR has been in place since March 2016 for banks, PRA investment firms and some insurers, replacing the Approved Persons regime. The change is intended to make individuals within firms more accountable.
New directory of financial services workers proposed
The FCA has proposed a new Directory to help consumers and firms check the status and history of individuals working in financial services. The Directory will include all those who hold Senior Manager positions requiring FCA approval and those whose roles require firms to certify that they are fit and proper, such as those in consumer-facing roles, such as mortgage and investment advisers. It includes more information about individuals working in financial services than is currently available and does so in one, user-friendly place.
FCA’s role in preparing for Brexit
The FCA has issued a statement to provide stakeholders with an update on how it is preparing for a range of scenarios. The regulator says it continues to prepare for a range of scenarios, including one in which the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a withdrawal agreement and implementation period having been ratified between the UK Government and the EU. The EU (Withdrawal) Act will transfer and convert existing EU law at the point of exit into UK law. The FCA plans to consult on the relevant changes to its Handbook, subject to the Treasury’s timelines for the necessary Statutory Instruments.
Regulatory fees and levies 2018-19
Following the completion of its audited 2017/18 accounts, the FCA has confirmed that its 2018/19 Annual Funding Requirement (AFR) remains unchanged from that announced in its Consultation Paper CP18/10 in April, at £543.9m. This represents an increase of 3.2%. The AFR covers ongoing regulatory budget costs, the costs of changes to the scope of regulation and EU withdrawal. The AFR is allocated across fee-blocks representing different regulated activities. The AFR for fee- block A19 (general insurance mediation) is £28.1m – an increase of 2.2% from the previous year.
Insurance Distribution Directive Instrument 2018 confirms IDD rules
The FCA has confirmed in a Handbook Notice changes to the rules to implement the IDD with effect from 1 October 2018 – all in accordance with the near-final rules previously published. New sections have been added to the Handbook and existing sourcebooks updated – including ICOBS,SYSC, MIPRU & TC. There are also changes to material to the Enforcement Guide and the Perimeter Guidance manual.