The FCA and indeed the PRA are the gatekeepers for firms that need to enter the financial services sector and their brief is to make sure that all firms that achieve authorisation match or exceed the threshold conditions and firms that cannot achieve this are declined. The regulators need to be confident that these standards can and will be maintained.
The transfer of authority from the FSA to FCA did bring about a much more interventionist regime and although you need not expect an armed group of men and women charging through your door you can and should be prepared for intervention at any time.
There are always a number of reasons why the FCA will visit and the current ‘hot’ topics are Treating Customer Fairly (TCF) and data security. Whatever the reason for the visit, our knowledge and skills will bring comfort to your Management and historically we have always delivered a successful outcome for the firm.
The Approved Persons regime (which included CF3 and CF8) disappeared last year and in it’s place we now have the Senior Managers and Certification Regime which has Senior Manager Functions, the most important of which are the SMF1, SMF3, SMF9, SMF16 and SMF17. These are the CEO (1), Exec Director (3), Chair (9), Comp Oversight (16) and MLRO (17) roles.
Money laundering legislation in the UK is governed by:-
We can support you with your processes and governance in this area, as well as training your MLRO and providing annual training for your staff.
The payment services directive 2007 (PSR’s) came into force in 2009 and very many firms that had faced the very light touch regulation of the office of fair trading (OFT) were suddenly faced with far more effective and robust supervision than by the FSA now of course the FCA. We were pleased to work with the United Kingdom Money Remitters Association (UK MTA) to introduce many firms to the new regulator, but many firms did find this to be a culture shock and are still having difficulty raising the standards.
The vast majority of firms need to be capable of establishing a harmonious and remote relationship with the FCA and providing that they can evidence their compliant behaviour using an accurate and timely Retail Mediation Activity Return (RMAR), this objective should be achieved.