APCC Spring Conference 2024 – An apprentices view

An apprentice’s view of the APCC Spring Conference 2024
I attended the APCC conference with Mel Holman CATS Managing Director and APCC Director in London on Thursday 25th April and I found it to be a very informative and enjoyable experience. So, here I am sharing my thoughts and takeaways from the day.

Being new to the financial sector, especially an area which is so full of information, knowledge, and regulation it sometimes feels like I am trying to catch up to my colleagues with what information they do have in all these various topics. However, during the day I had the pleasure of meeting Russel Facer, CEO of threesixty services LLP and APCC Director, who unexpectedly has given me a very positive perspective; that even though I am new to the financial sector, I am gaining the same level of information on all the new regulation as anyone else. This was a very insightful perspective on my current position as I don’t have all the “historical” information or knowledge as to the reasons behind all the current changes within the financial industry or as to why the FCA has its focus on what it currently does. However, Russell’s comments gave me some reassurance that I am not necessarily totally behind the curve when new FCA initiatives are announced. Indeed, I may sometimes have a different view on what the FCA are trying to achieve because I do not have the previous knowledge. I am gaining an understanding of what it all means in terms of new regulation, such as Consumer Duty, Retirement Income review or even the upcoming Non-Financial Misconduct, Diversity and Inclusion topic.
It was also great to see members of the FCA attending this event, as it has shown me how much really, they are on the front line of everything and not just behind the scenes writing up rules for us to follow. They were very transparent and open as there were a lot of questions being thrown their way.
I could write all about what I have learnt from the day, as my notebook is filled with notes however that would be a very long newsletter. So here are a few interesting takeaways that I took from the day:
• How the FCA were clear that they understand the current register is not the easiest to use and therefore in the summer there will be testing done on a more consumer friendly version. Which I think is great as I am getting more involved in checking firms’ information and if I didn’t have the knowledge I do now, grasping the register would be a difficult task.
• Conversations around Diversity and Inclusion and how the FCA is working towards change in the sector to be more inclusive. It is hard for me to say a lot on this topic mainly as I am new to the financial services and to full time work overall … but it is good to see steps are being taken for individuals to be more open in the workforce where diversity of thought is welcomed and appreciated as we all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. Plus, at the same time having a diverse workforce does line up with Consumer Duty as we can better understand different client needs. I look forward to seeing what grows from this topic.
• Also, how ESG can be quite subjective. Such as how before the conflict in the east funding into defence was not considered ethical however since then this opinion has now flipped 180.

I feel grateful to have been invited to such an event, it was all very useful knowledge and well explained so even a junior to this industry like me can understand! And it was great to meet others in the industry everyone was very welcoming and open to conversating.

Article written by Gosia Razniak
Compliance & Training Solutions Ltd