The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced their plans to provide firms with an SMCR Extension for 2020 to complete certain areas that fall under the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR).  The reason for this is due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the problems they are having with firms trying to upload Directory People in bulk onto the FS Register.

The FCA are providing an SMCR Extension to the 2020 deadline on the areas detailed below from the 9th December 2020 to the 31st March 2021.  This will allow firms to have additional time to train and certify staff.

  1. Assessing Certified Persons as fit and proper – this means that firms will have until March 2021 to assess and certify all those who fall under the Certification Regime;
  2. Conduct Rules Training – firms will have until March 2021 to train employees, except ancillary staff (who are exempt), on the Conduct Rules; Submit information about Directory Persons onto the FS Register.

Directory Persons – Financial Services Register (FS Register)

Since the SMCR came into place only those who hold a Senior Manager Function are shown on the FS Register.  A few weeks ago the FCA enhanced the FS Register so that from the 9th December 2020 firms would be able to start registering other individuals who are deemed a ‘Directory Person’.  A Directory Person is someone who:

  • Holds a Certification Function – including Mortgage and Equity Release Advisers;
  • Is a Director but is not performing a Senior Manager Function (SMFs) – both executive and non-executive;
  • Is either a Sole trader or Appointed Representatives (including those within Appointed Representative firms) where they undertake business with clients and require a qualification to do so, such as Mortgage or Equity Release Advisers.

Firms should note that these individuals must only be registered once they have been certified.  For example, a Certification Assessment has been completed and the individual has been issued with a certificate to confirm they have been signed off.

The information that will be required to be provided on the FS Register, via Connect, relates to basic information such as the individuals name, firm name, start date, workplace location (including if they provide face to face or distance sales) and type of business carried out (if a qualification is required).

Firms will have until the 31st March 2021 to complete the above.  Once completed, the firm will then need to ensure the register is kept up to date.  For example, if the individual’s circumstances change, such as they leave employment or the firm has employed a new member of staff who is deemed a Directory Person, the firm will have seven working days to notify the FCA.  It is important that you take note of the SMCR Extension and the new deadline as the FCA can charge a £250 administrative fee for late submissions.

To ensure that someone within the firm is responsible for keeping the FS Register up to date, the  SMCR has been amended to include the individual who is responsible for the ‘Certification Regime Prescribed Responsibility’ who would be accountable for keeping the register updated.

How Can We Assist?

We have been assisting a large number of firms with completing Certification Assessments, of which we still aim to have these completed by the 9th December 2020.  We also aim to assist firms to complete the notification forms on Connect, as part of our compliance visits, once they become available. You can also purchase SMCR documents via our shop and we also provide bespoke SMCR training.

If you have any questions about registering individuals via the Connect System or about the extension please email compliance@ecompli.co.uk.