FCA temporarily softens SMCR rules

Source: ftadviser.com

The Financial Conduct Authority has softened aspects of its Senior Managers and Certification Regime to minimise the burden on firms during the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement published Friday afternoon (April 3), the regulator said it would not enforce the requirement on firms to submit updated statements of responsibilities if the changes to staff were in response to the pandemic and would be a temporary shift.

However, the regulator said it expected allocations — however temporary — to be clearly documented internally and to be available if requested.

Other changes include an extension of the ‘12-week rule’ to 36 weeks. 

In normal circumstances, the 12-week rule allows an individual to cover for a senior manager without being approved, where the absence is temporary or reasonably unforeseen and the appointment is for less than 12 consecutive weeks.

But if this temporary arrangement lasts longer than 12 weeks as a result of the crisis, firms can notify the FCA and the arrangement can be extended for up to 36 weeks.

The FCA said: “We are offering this change because of the exceptional circumstances, as we understand that people’s movements and governance arrangements will need to be kept under constant review.

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