Under Section 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), the FCA has the power to oblige a Regulated Firm to instruct an external consulting/legal firm (Skilled Person) to review aspects of its operations, concurrently reporting back to the Firm and its Supervisor.
FSMA allows for the FCA to contract with the Skilled Person in two ways:
There often appears to be some confusion around the published FCA Skilled persons panel in that some firms (and occasionally some Supervisors) think that it is necessary for a Firm to select the three options from the FCA’s published panel only, even though FSMA and FCA guidance is clear that they do not.
Without an additional list of suppliers, Firms (particularly those who fit the target market of APCC membership) may struggle to identify suitable consulting/legal firms that are not already on the FCA’s panel, which is typically comprised of large professional services firms (lawyers, accountants etc).
We have therefore identified a need, where the APCC is perfectly placed, to promote clarity in this area and provide an additional list of its members who have been vetted to ensure they have the adequate levels of experience of responding to Requirements Notices and conducting Skilled Person reviews.
The FCA have developed a Skilled Person Panel (PDF) that they use for directly commissioned s166 reviews. This means they can contract with a skilled person firm, in line with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. The panel is divided into 12 subject categories known as ‘lots’ and is effective until 31 March 2026.
When a regulated firm contracts with the skilled person firm, it can choose to source a supplier listed on the Skilled Person Panel. But this isn’t a requirement. The FCA confirms that a firm may nominate any suitable supplier to them for consideration and approval.
The regulated firm is responsible for assessing whether a skilled person firm is appropriate for its requirements and should consider the guidance in SUP 5.4 of the Handbook when appointing them.
The APCC ‘Lots’ will mirror the FCA’s panel as it changes from time to time.
If a firm is already represented in a Lot on the FCA’s panel, it will not be entered in the corresponding Alternative panel Lot (i.e. there will be no duplication). However, it may be represented in a separate Lot that it has experience of, if it is not listed on the corresponding Lot on the FCA’s panel.
There is no quota nor limit to any of the Lots, so there may be unfilled Lots and others with multiple firms represented.
The list will be refreshed with member firms resubmitting which Lots they continue to have experience in on an annual basis on the anniversary of the start of the additional list or on when the FCA makes changes to the Lots.
Qualification Criteria & Selection Process
Firms will demonstrate experience and competence by passing the following tests:
The approval panel, which has independent oversight from the APCC Board member will determine the adequacy of the applications. Where firms fall short, they will be provided with feedback and suggestions for how they may get the necessary experience by collaborating with one of the member firms already on the additional suppliers list.
The APCC will seek to promote the additional list on its website, social media (LinkedIn) and through PR in the Financial Services Trade Press. It may also be promoted as one of the benefits of joining the APCC.
Whilst great care is taken in appointing APCC members to its Additional Skilled Person Suppliers List the Association does not have the capacity in its terms of reference to be able to endorse any of its members for Skilled Persons Reviews, so client firms must rely on their own due diligence for their selection. The Additional Skilled Persons Suppliers List is aimed to bring more choice client firms when selecting a Skilled Person.
|Governance, Accountability, Strategy and Culture
|Controls and Risk Management Frameworks
|Conduct of Business
|Prudential – Deposit takers, recognised clearing houses, Central Securities Depositories and PRA-designated Investment Firms
|Prudential – Insurance
|Prudential – Adequate Financial Resources for FCA solo-regulated firms
|Technology and Information Management
|CBEST Threat Intelligence
|CBEST Penetration Testing
|Credit Rating Agencies
|B,C,D & E
|TIFAC – The IFA Corporation
|SA Compliance Management
|B & D
|A,B,C,D,E & H
|A,B,C,D,E & I
|B,C,D & E
|B,C,D & E
|B & D
|B,C,D & E
|A,B,C & D