Published: 7th July 2020

The deadline for solo-regulated firms to have undertaken the first assessment of the fitness and propriety of their Certified Persons has been delayed from 9 December 2020 until 31 March 2021.

The Treasury has agreed to delay, from 9 December 2020 until 31 March 2021, the deadline for solo-regulated firms to have undertaken the first assessment of the fitness and propriety of their Certified Persons. This will give firms significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic time to make the changes they need.

To ensure SM&CR deadlines remain consistent, and to provide extra time for firms that need it, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) intends to consult 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
  • references in the FCA rules to the deadline for assessing Certified Persons as fit and proper (which has been agreed by the Treasury)

In order to give regulated firms certainty, the FCA intends to consult alongside parliamentary process, to allow us to finalise their policy as soon as possible.

Senior Managers must ensure that Conduct Rules training is effective, so that staff are aware of the Conduct Rules and understand how they apply to them in their jobs. These programmes will require planning, time and effort to deliver effectively. The FCA will produce further communications about its expectations.

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. Firms should not wait to remove staff who are not fit and proper from certified roles.

The FCA will still publish details of certified employees of solo firms starting from 9 December 2020 on the Financial Services Register. Where firms are able to provide this information before March 2021, the FCA encourages them to do so.

The Certification Regime and reporting of Directory Persons do not apply to benchmark administrators, so the FCA we do not intend to move the deadline for benchmark administrators.

Benchmark administrators have until December 2021 to train non-Senior Manager staff in the Conduct Rules.  The FCA does not think that the coronavirus pandemic will prevent effective implementation of Conduct Rules training in these firms, and so it is not considering extending this deadline.

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