19Mar

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that it will be introducing a new Directory of financial services staff, to complement the existing Financial Services Register.

The regulator says the Directory will make it harder for individuals who are not fit and proper to continue operating in the industry. It adds that it will assist the FCA in “monitoring the market, building intelligence and targeting interventions”.

The following individuals will need to be listed on the Directory:

  • All executive and non-executive directors and senior managers of every authorised firm
  • All staff who have been certified as fit and proper by the firm, under the requirements of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR)
  • Staff who conduct business with clients and who need to hold a professional qualification

After SM&CR is introduced, only certain Senior Managers will need to be listed on the Financial Services Register, with this Directory being used to list other individuals who hold positions of responsibility.

Banks and insurers, who are already subject to the SM&CR can commence submitting data for the Directory from September 2019 – exact date to be confirmed. Other firms can commence submitting data from December 9 2019 – the date on which they become subject to SM&CR – and the final deadline for submission is December 9 2020. All submissions will be made via the FCA’s Connect system, and firms are responsible for ensuring the information they supply is accurate. The Directory is scheduled to launch in March 2020.

The information that will appear on the Directory for each firm includes:

  • Its name, firm reference number, address, telephone number, email address and website address
  • Any restrictions placed on the activities the firm can carry out
  • The date on which the firm’s Directory information was last updated – firms that have not made any changes to their data within 12 months should confirm the information is still correct

Additionally, the following information will be listed for each individual who appears in the Directory:

  • Their full name
  • Their individual reference number – this will be the same as the one they hold on the existing Register, and if they are not listed on the Register the FCA will allocate a number to them
  • Roles they have held within the firm
  • The start and end dates of each role – where an individual no longer holds a relevant role, firms will need to tell the FCA when it ended
  • The types of business the individual is qualified to undertake
  • Their workplace location
  • The methods by which they will engage with customers (e.g., online, telephone or face to face)
  • Memberships of professional bodies
  • Any enforcement action taken against the individual

The FCA already holds some of this information, and it will add this information to the Directory. Firms will need to submit all of the other data.

In normal circumstances, firms should update the information held for joiners and leavers within one business day.

The FCA can use any of its enforcement powers for firms that fail to comply with their Directory obligations.

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

“The new Directory will help consumers to protect themselves from unauthorised individuals by clearly and easily identifying individuals who have been banned by the FCA. It will also help firms to understand the employment history of candidates when hiring.”

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