The Treasury has amended legislation to extend the first assessment of Fit and Proper under the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR) from 9 December 2020 to 31 March 2012.
The announcement was made by the FCA in a document entitled ‘Extension of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR) implementation periods for solo-regulated firms’.
The FCA, as the regulatory body responsible for implementation of the regime, will consult on bringing its rules in line with this Treasury extension.
Richard Nuttall, director of compliance policy at the SimplyBiz Group, said: “The FCA recognises some firms have been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and this sympathetic approach, towards those individuals who have suffered as a direct consequence, must be applauded.
“Please do not however read this as a concession for all firms to delay their fit and proper assessments. We believe that the FCA will expect the majority of firms to be still working towards the 9 December deadline, and we would encourage firms, where possible, to aim to have these assessments completed and their Certified Persons uploaded to the Directory by the original date of 9 December 2020.
“Whilst the regulator has not yet provided, and may not provide, a definition of how a firm might have been ‘significantly affected’ by COVID-19, we would suggest that you thoroughly consider whether the impact on your firm could be categorised as significant before extending this deadline. Remember, only those persons certified as fit and proper and uploaded to The Directory by 9 December 2020 will appear under the firm’s name. Above all else, keeping to the original deadline will give you some small peace of mind that your responsibilities in this area have been met.
“We will review the consultation once published but our guess is that this will be a brief consultative period followed by immediate implementation.”