The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has extended the deadline for solo-regulated firms to undertake their first assessment of the fitness and propriety of their certified persons under the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR) from the 9 December 2020 until 31 March 2021. The intention is to provide relief to firms significantly affected by COVID-19 and give them time to make the changes they need.
The FCA intends to consult, alongside the parliamentary process for expedience, on extending the deadline for the following requirements from 9 December 2020 to 31 March 2021:
- the date the Conduct Rules come into force;
- the deadline for submission of information about Directory Persons to the Register; and
- references in its rules to the deadline for assessing certified persons as fit and proper (which has been agreed by HM Treasury).
Firms should continue with their programmes of work in these areas and, if they are able to certify staff earlier than March 2021, they should do so. The FCA stresses firms should not delay removing staff that are not considered fit and proper from their certified roles.
The FCA will still publish details of certified employees of solo firms starting from 9 December 2020 on the Financial Services Register. Therefore, where firms are able to provide this information before March 2021, the FCA encourages them to do so.