The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the final rules on a ‘new public directory’ in the recent PS19/7 report.
This new Directory will include ‘significant harm functionaries’ at AR firms alongside all Directors and Senior Managers, all staff certified, and other important individuals who undertake business with clients and require a qualification. The main difference is that for the first time, this will include Mortgage Advisers.
The Directory is expected to go live in March 2020 and will show the advisers qualifications, employment history and will also confirm that they have been assessed as ‘fit and proper’ by an authorised firm.
The new Directory will help give consumers the ability to research their adviser and to check who is authorised and qualified to give advice or, identify those who have been banned by the FCA.
The new register will plug the gap following the FCA’s announcement in PS19/7 that only people with SMF (Senior Management Functions) at directly Aauthorised firms would remain on the original register following SM&CR in December.
No need to panic right now, as the system is not available to start adding details just yet, but solo regulated firms will need to upload data from 9th December 2019 giving you some time to gather the information required. The FCA will allow firms to submit multiple records at once, with sufficient time ahead of the submission deadline for the larger employers.
The FCA want to ensure this register is as accurate as possible. It will be your firm’s responsibility to enter the data correctly within the FCA’s Connect system and to report any data errors that appear on the Directory.
Just be aware that any changes must be submitted within 7 business days, with an administrative fee of £250 for any missed reporting from late or inaccurate data.
As per SM&CR Prescribed Responsibility, the relevant newly appointed ‘Senior Manager’ will be accountable for the information provided on Directory.