30Aug

ICO says TPS screening cheaper than paying a fine

Firms from all business sectors have been advised to check that anyone to whom they make a marketing phone call is not in fact registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

The data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), adds that the cost to firms of checking whether individuals appear on the TPS list is lower than they would expect to pay when being fined for breaching this requirement.

The ICO issued its warning at the same time as it fined energy saving firm Home Logic UK Ltd £50,000 for calling individuals who were TPS registered. 133 complaints were received by the regulator about the Southampton-based firm’s marketing practices.

Home Logic had an electronic dialler system that was supposed to screen phone numbers against the register before a call was made. Although that system was unavailable for 90 working days out of 220 between April 2015 and March 2016, the firm continued to make marketing calls throughout this period, meaning that many people who were on the register began to receive calls from Home Logic.

The ICO press release also informs firms that they can subscribe to the TPS register for an annual cost of £2,640. The cost will be lower if a firm only needs access for a shorter time period, or only needs information for a specific geographical area.

Regulation 21 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (PECR) states that:

“A person shall neither use, nor instigate the use of, a public electronic communications service for the purposes of making unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes where – (a) the called line is that of a subscriber who has previously notified the caller that such calls should not for the time being be made on that line; or (b) the number allocated to a subscriber in respect of the called line is one listed in the register kept under regulation 26.”

In this case, the TPS is the register the ICO keeps for the purposes of regulation 26.

ICO Head of Enforcement Steve Eckersley said:

“Organisations have no excuse – they know that calling people on the TPS register is against the law and that we will come down hard on them if they don’t respect the public’s right to privacy.

“We continue to see companies suffering the financial and reputational consequences of being caught making nuisance calls, which could have been prevented if they had invested in a TPS licence and made proper use of it. It is baffling that some firms continue to take this business risk.”

A number of firms have been fined for making marketing calls to individuals who appear on the TPS list. Many more firms have of course been fined for sending marketing text messages, or for making automated phone calls. Firms must note that the TPS opt-out applies only to live marketing calls where there is a two-way interaction between the firm and the recipient. For automated calls and texts there is no equivalent of the TPS, and these communications can only be made to people who have given explicit prior consent to receiving them.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

28Aug

CMC loses authorisation for encouraging customers to fake sickness claims

Preston-based claims management company (CMCs) Allsure Ltd has been stripped of its authorisation, after the regulator identified serious issues with the way it was encouraging people to make holiday sickness claims.

The Claims Management Regulator at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said in its press release that Allsure “encouraged holiday-goers to fabricate or embellish symptoms of gastric illness to get compensation”, was “exaggerating expected pay-outs to entice consumers”, and also engaged in “trying to coach consumers in providing the answers needed to meet the criteria for making a claim.”

The MoJ enforcement notice says that Allsure failed to comply with four separate sections of Client Specific Rule 1 of its Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2014:

  • Rule 1a – the general requirement to act fairly and reasonably in all dealings with clients
  • Rule 1b – the general requirement to ensure that the service provided meets the needs of the client
  • Rule 1c – the obligation that all information given to a client is ‘clear, transparent, fair and not misleading’
  • Rule 1e – the stipulation that clients should only be advised to pursue a claim when it is in their best interests to do so

Allsure has 28 days to appeal the ruling to the First-Tier Tribunal, should it wish to do so.

Allsure used the trading names Chase Alexander, Refund Claims and Refund PPI Claims – clearly not all of these names relate to the company’s sickness claims activities.

Kevin Rousell, Head of the Claims Management Regulator, said:

“We will take firm action against claims businesses which engage in serious misconduct. Seeking to encourage false claims will not be tolerated.”

In July 2017, the Government announced plans to limit the cash incentives for making holiday sickness claims.

Some Spanish hotels have threatened to stop taking bookings from Britons, noting that UK residents seem much more willing than people from other countries to make sickness claims. If holidays are booked as all-inclusive packages, then the idea behind many claims is that any gastric illness must be the fault of the hotel and/or tour operator, as the holidaymakers would not have eaten anywhere else during their trip.

It has also been noted that people living in certain parts of the UK seem much more willing to make claims of this type.

A leading travel agent, who did not wish to be named, claimed to a journalist from The Times newspaper that 85% of holiday sickness claims were made by residents of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. Despite almost one seventh of the UK population living in London, residents of the capital made just 2% of the nation’s sickness claims, according to the travel company.

Travel agent Thomas Cook has previously signalled its willingness to defend claims made against it in court, and even to prosecute individuals it believes are making fraudulent claims. The company has been purchasing Google advert words to try and ensure that the top result for the search ‘holiday sickness claim’ is a warning that making a false claim is a criminal offence. As of August 27, it appeared that two of the top six search results were indeed warnings about the consequences of bringing unjustified claims.

Deborah Briton and her partner Paul Roberts will stand trial at Liverpool Crown Court next year, after being the first people in the UK to be charged with fraud over a holiday sickness claim.

Julie Lavelle and her partner Michael McIntyre lost a legal case involving Thomas Cook recently, and were ordered to pay legal costs of £3,744. The couple alleged that they had suffered severe sickness and diarrhea after a holiday in Gran Canaria three years earlier, but the court heard that they had made no mention of being ill at the time. Mr McIntyre had gone as far as to say that most aspects of his holiday had been ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ when completing a questionnaire about his trip.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

25Aug

PPI uphold rate at FOS drops to 40%, as FCA reveals more ahead of PPI publicity campaign

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed more details of its activities regarding payment protection insurance (PPI), as a new publicity campaign regarding the claims deadline commences.

From August 29 2019, it will no longer be possible to make a PPI claim – save for a handful of exemptions for claims concerning recently-sold policies, or regarding claims and administration issues. In the two years leading up to the deadline, the FCA will conduct a £42 million publicity campaign across various media channels, designed to alert the British public to the existence of the deadline, and to prompt them to make one final check as to whether they may have grounds for a claim. The campaign will be funded by the 18 firms that sold the most PPI policies.

A legal challenge aimed at halting the deadline, brought by claims management company We Fight Any Claim, was rejected in the High Court, although the company does intend to appeal the ruling.

Ahead of the publicity campaign, the FCA gave details of the work it is carrying out in three specific areas.

Firstly, it has contacted a number of firms and asked them to make changes to the PPI claims sections of their websites. The regulator wants to make it easier for customers to check online if they had PPI via the firm, and also to make it easier to make a complaint to be made via the firm’s website. The PPI sections of firms’ sites should also provide clear links to PPI information on the websites of the FCA and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and also direct users to assistance that can be obtained from other organisations, such as Citizens’ Advice.

Secondly, the FCA is making sure that firms are geared up to handle Plevin-related PPI complaints. Most historic PPI complaints have centred around alleged mis-selling, but from August 29 this year it will also be possible to make a PPI complaint on the grounds that the firm failed to disclose a significant commission payment at the time of the sale. This follows a successful court case brought by a Mrs Susan Plevin. The FCA has asked firms to offer a simplified process whereby customers who have already had a PPI mis-selling complaint rejected can make a complaint regarding high levels of commission without having to provide much of the same information for a second time. The regulator also says it is “working with firms to ensure they have the resources and systems in place to handle complaints quickly and fairly”, even if Plevin causes a large increase in complaint volumes.

Finally, the FCA says that, once the publicity campaign has commenced, it intends to gather information on customer satisfaction rates, i.e. whether consumers believe their firm is handling their PPI complaint fairly. The regulator says there will be a particular focus on the way vulnerable customers are treated.

The FOS has revealed that, in the first quarter of the 2017/18 financial year (April 1 to June 30), it received 42,401 new PPI complaints. This still accounts for the majority (53%) of all complaints received by the Service. However, of the PPI complaints closed by the FOS during the same period, only 40% were upheld, much lower than was the case a few years ago. This may suggest that many of the strongest mis-selling claims have already been lodged.

The latest FOS newsletter also reveals that the organisation has 150,000 outstanding Plevin-related cases, on which it cannot give a ruling until the new FCA rules come into force at the end of August 2017. The FOS also promised to publish an update in the next issue of its newsletter on how it is handling complaints in light of the new PPI rules.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

24Aug

FOS explains how it is handling consumer credit complaints

Much of the summer 2017 issue of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) newsletter is devoted to consumer credit complaints. In the introductory section, chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman refers to the fact that credit complaints to the FOS rose by 89% between the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years, having increased by 40% over the previous 12 months. However, she suggested that the rise in complaints could be due to an increased willingness to complain about debt issues, rather than due to any deterioration in the way firms are treating their customers. She acknowledged that the introduction of new Financial Conduct Authority rules on payday lending had yielded positive results, and that many of the payday complaints her organisation was seeing concerned historic issues.

Nevertheless, credit firms cannot afford to be complacent, and all firms would do well to read the case study examples in the newsletter, and consider whether they need to amend their procedures and/or alter the way they handle complaints. The case studies cited by the FOS include:

  • The FOS did not uphold a complaint from Mr S, who was unhappy that his bank had referred his case to a debt collection agency. However, the FOS did encourage him to contact the agency and try to set up a suitable repayment plan, whilst also obtaining assistance from a debt charity
  • A complaint from Mrs B was upheld after her finance provider refused to repair a phone obtained under a hire purchase agreement. The FOS ordered the firm to repair the phone and to refund the payments she had made under the agreement while the repair had been delayed
  • A complaint from Mrs H was rejected, after the FOS agreed that the finance provider had made a fair offer of compensation of £150 for a misunderstanding. She had cancelled the purchase of her kitchen but had incorrectly assumed the finance agreement had also been cancelled, which resulted in a default marker appearing on her credit file
  • Mr K failed in his effort to get compensation from his finance provider after they refused to pay for repairs. His agreement did not provide for any repairs to the television he bought on credit
  • A finance provider was instructed by the FOS not to apply the excess mileage charge on Miss N’s car finance agreement, as the firm failed to make it sufficiently clear to her that such a charge could be applied
  • A lender was ordered to refund all the interest and charges it applied to Mr G’s loan after the time he was allowed to draw down further funds. This facility was granted to him even though there was evidence he was in financial difficulty
  • A lender had to refund interest, fees and charges to Mr L after it granted him multiple payday loans without conducting adequate checks

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article

22Aug

CMC must have third party introductions vetted by regulator

Issues with the way claims management companies (CMCs) obtain their leads is perhaps one of the most common reasons why enforcement action is taken by the industry regulator.

CMC Creditline Financial must now obtain the specific approval of the Claims Management Regulator at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) every time it wants to accept a client from an unauthorised third party.

The MoJ decided to impose these conditions on Creditline after finding issues with the way it was accepting business from other parties. Now, if the Peterborough-based payment protection insurance specialist wishes to accept a client from an organisation that isn’t regulated by the MoJ, it must write to the regulator in advance to obtain their consent to proceed.

The MoJ enforcement notice says that:

“Written consent will be granted upon the assessment of the information within the written notice provided by Creditline Financial Limited, if the Regulator is satisfied with status of the third party and the agreement between the parties, within 30 days of the written notice subject to the necessary information being provided.”

These obligations have been imposed on Creditline after it failed to comply with the following three sections of the MoJ’s Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2014:

  • General Rule 2e – requiring CMCs to take reasonable steps to ensure that any referrals, leads or data obtained from third parties are obtained in accordance with the requirements of the legislation and Rules
  • General Rule 17 – which says that if a CMC accepts introductions from exempt introducers, it must first satisfy itself that these other parties have grounds for being exempt
  • Client Specific Rule 19 – which asks CMCs ensure that marketing material distributed on their behalf by third parties complies with the relevant legislation and Rules

Obtaining leads from third parties, and marketing material issued on behalf of CMCs by other agencies, are two areas where claims companies cannot afford to be non-compliant. The MoJ is devoting a lot of its resources to monitoring companies’ activities in this area. Any company unsure as to what they should be doing in this area may be best advised to seek the advice of their compliance consultant.
In other claims management news, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has revealed that it is gearing up to accept complaints about CMCs that are currently handled by the Legal Ombudsman. The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill is currently being considered by Parliament. The Bill is intended to transfer regulation of CMCs from the MoJ to the Financial Conduct Authority, and to give customers the right to refer complaints about their CMC to the FOS.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

21Aug

CMC banned for deficiencies in the way claims are handled, and other issues

Subject to appeal, MJE Associates (Wales) Ltd has been stripped of its authorisation to provide claims management services.

The Claims Management Regulator at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) took action against the Llanelli-based claims management company (CMC) after it breached the rules in a number of areas, including:

  • The way it handled claims it received
  • Lead generation
  • Direct marketing
  • The competence of its management
  • Compliance with data protection law

Many of these are similar to the reasons why action has been taken against other CMCs, however the failings related to data protection and claims handling are perhaps seen less frequently in MoJ enforcement notices.

The MoJ enforcement notice says that MJE – a financial claims company – breached sections a) to e) of General Rule 2 of the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2014. These sections of the rulebook ask that:

  • CMCs must investigate whether grounds for making a claim exist, and if so whether the claim is likely to succeed
  • When making representations to a third party to substantiate the claim, CMCs must ensure that the evidence submitted must be specific to each claim and not fraudulent, false or misleading
  • When a claim is referred to a recognised Ombudsman, such as the Financial Ombudsman Service, the CMC must comply with the Ombudsman’s procedures, provide specific information in support of individual claims and take account of that Ombudsman’s relevant past decisions when considering the merits of a claim
  • CMCs must maintain appropriate records and audit trails of all their activities
  • CMCs must ensure that leads, referrals and data obtained from third parties have been sourced in compliance with the MoJ rules and relevant legislation

MJE also failed to comply with four other sections of the MoJ’s rules:

  • General Rule 3 – which requires a CMC’s management and directors to be competent and to understand the legislation and rules relating to regulated claims management services
  • General Rule 5 – which simply asks CMCs to observe all relevant laws and regulations
  • General Rule 15 – which asks CMCs to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office, as required under the Data Protection Act 1998, and comply with relevant data protection legislation
  • Client Specific Rule 4 – which bans personal cold calling, such as calling door-to-door, or stopping passers-by; and also demands that marketing by telephone, email, fax or text shall be conducted in accordance with the Direct Marketing Association’s Code and any related guidance issued by the Association

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

14Aug

FCA again turns its attention to advisers’ charging structures

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reportedly contacted 45 advisory firms to ask for more information on their charging structures. It is understood that the sample includes large and small firms alike, as well as both independent and restricted advisers.

This follows the FCA’s comprehensive review of more than 1,000 cases from approximately 650 firms, the results of which were published in May of this year. The review was widely described in the media as the regulator’s ‘suitability review’, yet the main criticisms levelled at firms centred around disclosure rather than suitability of advice.

In 93.1% of the reviewed cases, it believes that the firm’s advice was suitable. In only 4.3% of cases was the advice deemed to be unsuitable, and in the remaining 2.5% of cases the advice was unclear – there was not enough information on file for the reviewer to know for sure whether the advice was suitable.

Where advice was identified as being unsuitable or unclear, the FCA says that the main areas of concern were: whether clients’ risk profiles were being correctly identified, and replacement contracts being recommended where clients were advised to give up valuable benefits and/or incur higher costs without good reason.

However, the FCA found less encouraging results when it looked at the standard of disclosure in the files it reviewed. In just over half of cases (52.9%), the FCA considered that its disclosure requirements had been met, however the standard of disclosure was “unacceptable” in a significant minority of cases (41.7%). In 5.4 of cases it was “uncertain” whether the disclosure rules had been complied with.

Disclosure standards were noticeably poorer in smaller advisory firms, in independent advice firms (as opposed to those offering restricted advice) and in directly authorised firms (as opposed to firms who are members of advice networks).

Two specific areas of concern regarding disclosure were mentioned by the FCA in its report: some firms operating an hourly charging structure are not providing clients with an estimate of how long each service is likely to take, and some firms are using charging structures which have a wide range of possible charges. The latter could result in confusion for clients.

Additionally, it is of course vitally important that firms provide the service they promised to deliver in exchange for payment of a fee.

The FCA has promised to undertake a ‘communication programme’ with firms on the issue of disclosure, and to issue examples of good and poor practice in due course.

Firms concerned about whether they are meeting FCA standards on suitability and/or disclosure are urged to discuss the matter with their compliance consultant.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

11Aug

Mortgage broker ordered to conduct a customer contact and redress programme 

Cheshire mortgage broking firm Mortgage Matters Partnership is paying the price for failing to ensure its clients received suitable advice. After the intervention of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the firm will now be required to carry out a customer contact and redress programme.

The FCA is concerned about the firm’s sale of debt consolidation mortgages. The extent of the detriment suffered by clients could be significant, as the programme will cover sales made over a period of seven-and-a-half years, from January 2007 to July 2014.

Specifically, the regulator’s intervention concerns the sale of debt consolidation mortgages by Mortgage Matters. The firm will now need to write to every client who took out such a mortgage during the period between 2007 and 2014, and inform them that they may not have received suitable advice.

In particular, the letters will highlight that Mortgage Matters may have neglected to consider:

1. Whether the client should instead have entered into a debt management or insolvency arrangement to try and solve their debt problems
2. Whether it was appropriate to convert previously unsecured debt into secured debt, thus increasing the potential risks to the client of failing to maintain repayments
3. The costs involved with extending the term over which the debt was to be repaid. Although debt consolidation may reduce the amount being repaid each month, a mortgage typically has a much longer repayment term than other forms of borrowing. Clients may have as a result ended up paying a great deal in additional repayments once all monthly payments over 25 years or so are added up

The letters will invite recipients to make a complaint to the firm about the advice they received. Any complaints it receives must be handled by an independent third party. Where the third party identifies that the advice may have been unsuitable it will instruct Mortgage Matters to pay appropriate redress to the relevant client. Mortgage Matters must comply promptly with all such instructions to pay redress, and where these offers are rejected, it must inform the client of their right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The appointed third party must report to the FCA on the progress of the redress scheme at least every two months.

Mortgage Matters is no longer trading, but the firm remains in existence, and its activities are still regulated by the FCA.

This case illustrates the importance of giving suitable advice to clients, and the importance of having a rigorous compliance monitoring programme in place so that unsuitable advice is identified at point-of-sale, ideally before any products are taken out.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

10Aug

FCA warns that credit landscape isn’t sustainable, as it confirms no change to payday cap

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has promised to take action on areas of the consumer credit market that are causing concern, such as unarranged overdrafts, rent-to-own, home-collected credit and catalogue credit.

The regulator says it is working on a consultation paper, which will be published in spring 2018, and which will propose new requirements for firms operating in these areas. The FCA chief executive warned that “maintaining the status quo is not an option.”

Regarding overdrafts, it warned that unarranged overdraft charges can often be very high, and complex in nature. It added that these charges are also repeatedly incurred by a small number of customers, suggesting both that lenders are failing to identify and manage vulnerable customers, and that customers may be becoming trapped in a debt cycle.

The FCA said however that it believed its regulatory efforts had greatly improved customer outcomes in the high cost short-term lending sector. It says that, as a result of its effective supervision of the market:

• 760,000 borrowers are saving a total of £150 million per year
• Firms are now “much less likely to lend to customers who cannot afford to repay”
• Debt charities have seen a sharp drop in the numbers of people contacting them with concerns caused by these types of loans

As a result, the FCA says that the existing price caps for payday loans and other forms of high cost short-term credit will remain unchanged until at least 2020. This means that any speculation that the caps would be raised has proved to be unfounded. One firm, Quick Loans, even announced it was returning to lending recently, confidently predicting that the cap would be raised significantly.

So, for the next three years at least, payday lenders and similar firms will continue to be prevented from charging more than 0.8% daily interest, or more than £15 in default fees. It also remains the case that no loan should ever be rolled over more than twice, and that no borrower should ever be asked to pay more in interest, fees and charges than the amount of their original loan.

The FCA also highlighted that it is carrying out a range of activities in the motor finance sector, looking at whether firms are lending responsibly, providing clear information to customers and managing conflicts of interest effectively. Some commentators have warned that Personal Contract Plans, often used to fund purchases of vehicles, could be “the new PPI”, with fears that large-scale mis-selling has taken place.

Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the FCA, said:

“High-cost credit products remain a key focus for us because of the risks they pose to potentially vulnerable customers.  We are pleased to see clear evidence of improvement in the payday lending market after a period when firms’ treatment of customers and their business models were often unacceptable.

“However, there is more that we can do, and this review is about identifying the areas where consumers may be suffering harm so that we can focus our efforts accordingly.

“In particular, the nature and extent of the problems that we have found with unarranged overdrafts mean that maintaining the status quo is not an option.  We are now working to resolve these issues while preserving the parts of the market that consumers find useful.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

08Aug

FCA proposals to extend SM&CR to all financial services firms

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) will be extended to the entire financial services industry from March 2018. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has now issued more details of what this will mean in practice.

The FCA says that “the aim of the new regime is to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by making individuals more accountable for their conduct and competence”, and that the Regime aims to:

• Encourage a culture of staff at all levels taking personal responsibility for their actions.
• Make sure firms and staff clearly understand and can demonstrate where responsibility lies

There will be three main components of the Regime:

1. Five Conduct Rules will apply to all staff at all FCA authorised firms. These high-level rules will require individuals to:
o act with integrity
o act with due care, skill and diligence
o be open and cooperative with regulators
o pay due regard to customer interests and treat them fairly
o observe proper standards of market conduct
2. Responsibilities of Senior Managers will be clearly defined, and if something within their remit goes wrong, then they can be held personally accountable. In the first instance, Senior Managers will be approved by the FCA. They will be listed in the firm’s entry on the FCA Register. Additional Conduct Rules for Senior Managers will require them to:
o take reasonable steps to ensure that the business of the firm for which they are responsible is controlled effectively
o take reasonable steps to ensure that the business of the firm for which they are responsible complies with the relevant requirements and standards of the regulatory system SC3
o take reasonable steps to ensure that any delegation of their responsibilities is to an appropriate person and that they oversee the discharge of the delegated responsibility effectively
o disclose appropriately any information of which the FCA, or Prudential Regulation Authority, would reasonably expect notice
3. Where certain employees are not considered to be senior managers, but carry out roles that could significantly impact customers or firms, it will be the responsibility of the firm to certify these individuals for their fitness, skill and propriety at least once a year. These roles will be known as ‘significant harm functions’.

To comply with point 2, a document must be drawn up for every Senior Manager that explains what they are responsible and accountable for. This document will be known as a ‘Statement of Responsibilities’, and it must be given to the FCA whenever a senior manager applies to be approved, or whenever a major change to their responsibilities occurs. The FCA will conduct a separate consultation in due course on the format of these statements.

Under the new Regime, senior managers will include:

• Chair
• Chief Executive
• Partner
• Executive Director
• Compliance Oversight
• Money Laundering Reporting Officer

As at present, it will be possible for the same individual to carry out more than one of these functions.

The FCA invites responses to its proposals by November 3.

Firms should note that the new system is known as the ‘Senior Managers and Certification Regime’. The ‘Certification’ part of this title is designed to emphasise that all staff at all levels, in every financial services firm, have a responsibility to conduct themselves with integrity and to act in the interests of customers.

Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of Supervision- Retail and Authorisations at the FCA, said:

“Culture and governance in financial services and its impact on consumer outcomes is a priority for the FCA. The extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime is key to driving forward culture change in firms.

“This is about individuals, not just institutions. The new Conduct Rules will ensure that individuals in financial services are held to high standards, and that consumers know what is required of the individuals they deal with.  The regime will also ensure that Senior Managers are accountable both for their own actions, and for the actions of staff in the business areas that they lead.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

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