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FCA: Regulated Firms Have Until 31st March to Get SMCR Compliant

FCA: Regulated Firms Have Until 31st March to Get SMCR Compliant | FinTech Finance

Around 60,000 FCA-regulated firms in the UK will need to be SMCR compliant this week, with the deadline for firms fast approaching 31st March 2021.

The Senior Manager’s Certification Regime, or SMCR for short, was established by the Financial Conduct Authority to improve accountability for senior managers, especially in terms of managing risks, large sums of money, and assets.

Following the credit crisis of 2008, many senior managers across the world hid behind their large corporations and many went unnoticed, despite losing millions or billions for their clients.

The SMCR was devised to put senior managers in charge of decisions that hold great risk or potential repercussions for clients, maximising accountability at every level.

With the initial SMCR deadline set by the FCA for 9th December 2020, this was extended to 31st March 2021 due to the covid pandemic in order to give participants more time to get SMCR ready.

Being SMCR compliant means that employees and senior managers of regulated firms understand their roles and responsibilities. This includes banks, building societies, insurers, brokers, lenders, claims management companies, financial advisors, credit unions, and more.

Whilst you can hire an independent consultant or law firm to help you get up to speed, there are also SMCR courses now available from the RQC Group, ranging from £30 to £45 per course. With the average session lasting 30 to 45 mins, users get a full SMCR explanation, followed by a Q&A and a CPD accredited certificate upon completion. Users can pause, fast-forward and rewind at their discretion. Courses are categorised for limited scope firms, core firms, and enhanced firms, accordingly.

Reviewing the different sections, the SMCR overview applies at all levels within a financial institution, or the entity that is providing financial services. The Senior Managers Regime is designed to improve accountability at the top level. The Certification Regime requires certain key employees to be reviewed at least once per year to ensure they are fit and proper and follow the right side of regulation. The SMCR Conduct Rules is a newly introduced code of conduct for the financial services industry and it applies to employees across the board.

Firms can also use a free demo from the RQC Group if they wish to trial the material before purchasing.

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