Association of Professional Compliance Consultants

The body for compliance consultants who advise firms regulated in the UK.

The APCC is active in enhancing the professional standards of compliance consultants and is recognised as a trade body by the FCA and other regulators. This provides our members with significant benefits in terms of direct access to the Regulators as well as business leads.  The APCC often works in conjunction with the FCA to pilot or test new initiatives, and we also provide with valuable feedback on specific subjects as requested by them.

SM&CR Meeting Minutes

The APCC attended an FCA SM&CR update on 29th January 2018, a summary of this meeting is below;-

Summary of meeting

David Blunt –(accountable Executive) confirmed that there were no new issues, but wanted to ensure there was a consistent and clear message coming from the regulator to be communicated to the industry. The presentation session lasted 30 minutes and provided confirmation of key issues. There was then 30 minutes Q&A, with a panel from FCA from Authorisation, supervision, and enforcement.

Key points covered

  1. announcement on implementation dates still awaited from Treasury. (It is expected that confirmation of the implementation date for insurers will be issued soon.
  2. confirmation that the final rules will be issued in the “summer” – no more specific than that
  3. approved persons will be automatically grandfathered across without the need to complete a form. The exception are those NEDs who will be holding SMF9 (Chair).
  4. FCA expecting fewer SMFs than there are approved persons as anticipation of the majority of CF 28 and CF29 becoming certified
  5. Similar 12 month transition period that existed for the banks and building societies for certified and conduct rule staff

Q&A

There were a variety of questions covering appointed representatives (no update on when the AR regime will form part of SMCR), duty of responsibility and the interaction with statement of responsibilities (The FCA confirmed that SoRs are a very important part of the evidence in a duty of responsibility issue but the FCA would also look at other evidence. There was a general reiteration by the FCA around the importance of the SoR), conduct rule breaches and the issue of integrity particularly where the issue relates to activity directly outside of work, the example of the President’s Club was used! The FCA’s comments regarding conduct rule breaches were quite guarded and said firms would need to look at the issue on a case by case basis, what the firm’s policy was, what role the individual was undertaking etc.

A question arose regarding legal counsel and the SMCR and the FCA confirmed that this was still a consultation issue but that firms that had taken a particular stance would not be criticised if it subsequently transpires that the requirements differ from the approach the firm had adopted.

The FCA confirmed there would be no splitting of the implementation date between Enhanced, Core and Limited Scope firms.

The FCA advised that it was tweaking its supervisory approach to reflect the SMCR requirements.