The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is consulting on the creation of a directory cataloguing the status and history of individuals working in financial services.
The directory would include all those who hold senior manager positions requiring FCA approval, as well as those whose roles require firms to certify that they are fit and proper. This includes those in consumer-facing roles, such as mortgage and investment advisers.
The FCA directory is designed to provide user-friendly, practical and easy to understand information. Consumers would be able to search by location to find local advisers.
Alongside the consultation paper, a prototype version of the FCA directory has been uploaded, open to comments and feedback. In the prototype, individual notices are provided on whether someone has prohibitions applied, is approved by the regulator, is assessed by the firm, or has deals with clients and holds relevant qualifications.
The FCA has also published the near-final rules on the extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to almost all regulated firms. Firms can now access the guides to the SM&CR to understand what steps they need to take to prepare for the implementation.
Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision, retail and authorisations, at the FCA, said: “We’ve listened to feedback from firms and consumers about the importance of being able to check the status of financial services staff. Introducing the directory will make it easier for people to be confident they can find the right people to deal with.
“Today’s publications are all about making sure that consumers can interact confidently with financial services professionals by setting clear standards for the behaviour of those individuals, and making available information about their fitness and propriety.
“The Senior Managers and Certification Regime sets clear standards for the conduct that consumers and regulators expect from all financial services staff. These standards of behaviour are central to the FCA’s priority of promoting healthy cultures in firms.”
In June the FCA made changes to the definition of income between consumer hire leases and consumer credit after a response to its consultation by 10 leasing businesses.