Tag Archives: senior managers and certification regime

Can You Really Afford Generic Ongoing Compliance Support?

The problem with most firms, whether they be IFAs, Stockbrokers, Payment Services or whatever sector, is that the Compliance Officer is treated unfairly, if they are running the compliance function as a component of their job. Whether they are advising, trading or operate the financial side of the business, unlike 10 or even 5 years ago, there is far too much to get done, to gratify the demands of the regulators.

Obviously there are 5 main options;
  • You can proceed as normal and let things get slowly further and further behind; not a great option, running the gauntlet of “not” being visited.
  • You can devote more time to the compliance aspect, rejig the annual compliance monitoring plan and enlist other people to help; but you will need to supervise their efforts and if they are not “compliance” people, it may be even more work than you save.
  • Engage one of the many consultancies that are either big 5 or quasi big 5, made successful by all the mis-selling of yesteryear and not necessarily focused on your kind of business. These guys usually want a big chunk of profits to be “available” and deliver ongoing support.
  • You can recruit a compliance manager (or team) to perform the main bodies of work required, and have regular meetings to ensure they are staying up to date with everything. This is expensive with all the rights of workers and the fringe benefits.
  • The final option is to engage with a particular niche consultancy that only provided experienced and qualified consultants in order to help you fit in all the compliance requirements and carry on your day job. Not the cheapest option, but a wise person would never confuse cost with price.
The regulator’s business plan for 2018 has created a raft of focused areas for the remainder of 2018 and start of 2019. From the FCA Handbook there are a variety of hotspots and they are determined to use their powers under the FSMA 2000 to progress, investigate and enforce where appropriate. Whatever FCA Regulated Activities you have permissions for, I am sure you will see that there is something for everybody.
The following list identifies the regulators cross-sector priorities to be addressed over the coming few months:
– Firms’ culture and governance
– Tackling Financial crime (fraud & scams) & anti-money laundering (AML).
– Data security, resilience and outsourcing.
– Innovation, big data, technology and competition.
– Treatment of existing customers.
– Long-term savings, pensions and intergenerational differences.
– High cost credit.
– Wholesale financial markets.
– Investment Management.
As a part of the FCA’s ongoing programme of work they continue to mitigate harm from firms selling Contracts for Difference (CFDs) and spread bets to retail customers who often do not comprehend the risks of these complicated, leveraged instruments.
They are also concentrating on binary options, which entered into the FCA’s regime from January 2018. Their work involves a coordinated programme of policy and supervisory activity. In 2018, they will evaluate how well their interventions have worked and act where firms fail to meet expectations.
The FCA support the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) agreed EU-wide temporary product intervention measures announced 27th March 2018. These include the prohibition of the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients and a series of limitations on the marketing, distribution or sale of CFDs to retail clients, including rolling spot forex. The FCA expect to consult on whether to apply the ESMA measures on a permanent basis to firms offering CFDs and binary options to retail consumers.
The importance of self-governance and accountability: this is demonstrated in the extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to all regulated firms, incorporating dual regulated insurers. The FCA’s policy statement and new rules will be published in the summer of 2018 and the SM&CR will be extended to insurers on 10 December 2018.
So there is a huge raft of work going on which is quite in addition to the changes to the FCA Handbook after MiFID II, and your very own monitoring plan, that we calculate for most firms includes over 60 diverse events, from governance reviews (several day’s work in itself) through to whistleblowing and reporting (Gabriel returns anyone?), financial promotions and conflicts of interest through to KYC and Money Laundering and TCF, to name but a few.
With Liz Field of PIMFA joining with the FCA in encouraging advisers to whistleblow on “bad behaviour” within the profession in order to bring down the cost of the FSCS levy, all firms should ensure they have their house in order if they have enough time.
Compliance Consultant offers various support packages that can be managed on-site or remotely (depending on your needs), or a mixture of both. Experienced and professionally qualified people that are as flexible as you need, with the goal of providing you with the very best compliance function possible, with regular reports by email of the work they have planned, work that they have undertaken and any challenges identified along the way.
Compliance Consultant.
Making Compliance Work.
0207 097 1434

Can You Really Afford Generic Ongoing Compliance Support?

Compliance is an ambivalent function. On the one hand you are viewed as the regulators’ ally inside the investment firm; overseeing the implementation of their regulation. Meanwhile, you are paid by the investment company and a component of their culture and hierarchy.

You might say ‘front office’ (traders making the money) considers compliance the way compliance subsequently considers the regulators.

The problem with most companies, whether they be IFAs, Stockbrokers, Payment Services or whatever sector, is that the Compliance Officer is treated unfairly, if they are running the compliance function as a component of their job. Whether they are advising, trading or operate the financial side of the business, unlike 10 or even 5 years ago, there is far too much to get done, to satisfy the needs of the regulators.
Obviously there are 5 main options;
  1. You can carry on as normal and let things get slowly further and further behind; not a great option, running the gauntlet of “not” being visited.
  2. You can devote more time to the compliance component, rejig the annual compliance monitoring plan and enlist other individuals in order to help; but you will need to supervise their efforts and if they are not “compliance” people, it may be even more work than you save.
  3. Engage one of the numerous consultancies that are either big 5 or quasi big 5, made successful by all the mis-selling of yesteryear and not necessarily focused on your type of business. These guys usually want a big chunk of profits to be “available” and supply ongoing support.
  4. You can recruit a compliance manager (or team) to perform the main bodies of work required, and have regular meetings to ensure they are staying on top of everything. This is expensive with all the rights of employees and the fringe benefits.
  5. The final option is to engage with a niche consultancy that only provided experienced and qualified consultants to assist you fit in all the compliance necessities and maintain your day job. Not the cheapest option, but a thinker would never confuse cost with price.
fca template compliance manual risk management fca handbookThe regulator’s business plan for 2018 has created a raft of focused areas for the remainder of 2018 and start of 2019. From the FCA Handbook there are a variety of hotspots and they are determined to use their powers under the FSMA 2000 to progress, investigate and enforce where appropriate. Whatever FCA Regulated Activities you have permissions for, I am sure you will see that there is something for everybody.
The following list identifies the regulators cross-sector priorities to be addressed over the coming few months:
  • Firms’ culture and governance
  • Tackling Financial crime (fraud & scams) & anti-money laundering (AML).
  • Data security, resilience and outsourcing.
  • Innovation, big data, technology and competition.
  • Treatment of existing customers.
  • Long-term savings, pensions and intergenerational differences.
  • High cost credit.
  • Wholesale financial markets.
  • Investment Management.
As a part of the FCA’s ongoing programme of work they continue to mitigate harm from firms selling Contracts for Difference (CFDs) and spread bets to retail customers who often do not comprehend the risks of these complicated, leveraged instruments.
They are also concentrating on binary options, which came into the FCA’s regime from January 2018. Their work involves a coordinated programme of policy and supervisory activity. In 2018, they will evaluate how well their interventions have worked and act where firms fall down and cannot meet expectations.
The FCA support the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) agreed EU-wide temporary product intervention measures announced 27th March 2018. These include the prohibition of the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients and a range of limitations on the marketing, distribution or sale of CFDs to retail clients, including rolling spot forex. The FCA expect to consult on whether to apply the ESMA measures on a permanent basis to firms offering CFDs and binary options to retail customers.
The importance of self-governance and accountability: this is demonstrated in the extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to all regulated firms, incorporating dual regulated insurers. The FCA’s policy statement and new rules will be published in the summer of 2018 and the SM&CR wasextended to insurers on 10 December 2018.
fca template compliance manual smcr supplementThere is a huge raft of work going on and that is quite apart from the changes to the FCA Handbook after MiFID II, and your own monitoring plan, that we calculate for most firms includes over 60 different tasks, from governance reviews (several day’s work in itself) through to whistleblowing and reporting (Gabriel returns anyone?), financial promotions and conflicts of interest through to KYC and Money Laundering and TCF, to name but a few.
With Liz Field of PIMFA joining with the FCA in encouraging advisers to whistleblow on “bad behaviour” within the profession in order to bring down the cost of the FSCS levy, all firms should make certain they have their house in order if they have the time.
Compliance Consultant offers various support packages that can be managed on-site or remotely (depending on your needs), or a mixture of both. Experienced and professionally qualified people that are as flexible as you need, with the goal of providing you with the very best compliance function possible, with regular reports by email of the work they have planned, work that they have undertaken and any challenges identified along the way.
Compliance Consultant.
Making Compliance Work.
0207 097 1434

Senior Managers & Certification Regime: is your HR function prepared for becoming successful

The Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SMCR) and Conduct Rules mark a new era for the UK’s beleaguered financial services industry.

The new regime is one of the most strict individual accountability codes throughout all industries, making executives open to fines, including jail, for failure within their oversight.

This is not only a “Compliance” thing, it is most undoubtedly an area wherein not only the board, executive committee and individual directors will need to understand what they are answerable for, but some other departments in the business as well.
The HR function must play a central role in dealing with the processes that underpin long-term compliance. In the past, the operation concentrated on three components parts of the employee lifecycle, attracting talent, managing employment issues whilst it is there and letting it go. But the SMCR means HR needs to make sure that employees are ‘fit and proper’, manage regulatory submissions, furnish a lot more detailed regulatory references, clarify employees’ roles and help map their responsibilities, manage breaches to the conduct rules and disciplinary sanctions, and also review and incorporate the required changes to the HR lifecycle.
To step up to its new role as the custodian of SMCR compliance from the firm’s perspective, HR should ensure significant changes are embedded all through the employee lifecycle. If they are delivered accurately, they have the potential to produce a permanent and positive difference to how the organisation is managed and driven. This can possibly be accomplished in 2 steps; by concentrating then ensuring core HR processes fit for the Senior Managers & Certification Regime and then supporting their company to accept these changes.

Step one: Develop your core HR processes fit for SMCR

Bulletproof record-keeping methods and technology
The SMCR require that, in addition to making certain the employee’s current background check is sufficiently durable, firms must establish processes and systems to store employees’ records for external scrutiny over a long period. This is 6 years for all employees after they leave the firm and 10 years for senior managers because of the fully extended period of investigation and any bonus clawback. It also requires business to keep an audit trail of the actions taken if a breach of the conduct rules transpires and trail any disciplinary processes, outcomes and actions, all fitness and propriety evaluations and any training delivered around the regime.
If possible, the Certification Regime should be addressed and managed similarly with checks that are just as robust and documentary evidence of roles, performance and decision making of all of those in a position of causing harm to the company. Certificated and even non-certificated staff (excluding ancillary staff) are also obligated to adhere to the FCA Code of Conduct rules (COCON).
If a breach does arise, it is HR’s responsibility to prove that appropriate record-keeping processes and tools remain in place to flag any misconduct. Information should also be shared in a timely manner with internal stakeholders, such as audit and compliance, and the regulator.
Currently, record-keeping is variable across the financial services sector, with standards across companies varying considerably. So, even though the extent to which employee records might be shared is still to be defined legally, organisations need to be sure their record-keeping processes and tools are embedded and foolproof.
Control breaches and suspected breaches
A breach will definitely lead to one or several senior managers coming under scrutiny and potentially being suspended, impacting business as usual and intensifying the level of anxiety among staff and management. The HR function must be totally ready to reply to the human and the business impact concerning this.
From the employee’s perspective, being under investigation can possibly be frustrating and negatively impact a career and reputation, whether or not proven innocent. The onus lays on the FCA to prove deception or incompetence, they have to carry the burden of proof, but companies should be crystal clear where responsibility lies for giving assistance to employees during an investigation and what type of support may possibly be offered. The business’s management need to also update job descriptions to make sure an appointed individual is responsible for taking care of such events, and has acquired not only the appropriate training and coaching to do so efficiently, but also the appropriate Management Information (MI) to make them aware of any issues.
Breach scenarios are a great way for you to see how your organisation would react if one occurred. Designing tailored answers, as well as creating a rapid response team that is trained to manage such events, could all be necessary activities.
Align performance management.
The regime’s requirements mean enterprises must have a performance review process that ensures their employees are ‘fit and proper’. Especially, the process should assess fitness and propriety throughout the year, not just at an annual review. This is a good incentive for companies to take stock of their yearly performance review processes, and may produce significant changes to how and when they evaluate their people, and integrate them with the necessary regime checks.
Train those at the top
For senior managers, the focus of training should be on rolling out a corporate framework and adapted leadership development programme that enables them to evidence their ‘reasonable steps’ obligations. Ongoing stress tests and scenario analysis will likely help senior managers make the appropriate improvements to their overall governance, controls and delegations as their business or functional units evolve within the business. This will make sure the correct training, decision making etc. is in place and raise any potential issues.

Step two: Support the firm’s culture and values

Attract talent and enhance the corporate brand
Tarnished by bad press and a catalogue of scandals, the financial services industry has been struggling to attract needed talent.
The new regulations provide an unmissable opportunity to improve the reputation of the financial services industry as a whole, and the winners will be organisations that have completely embraced and embedded the required changes to a degree that positively impacts their employer brand. Carried out correctly, these changes could even improve public perception of the corporate brand.
Redefine culture
Under SMCR, encouraging a culture of compliance and risk management has become a directed responsibility for the board and senior managers. A standardised and transparent operational risk framework is essential to these changes. As Tracey McDermott, the former Director of Enforcement and Financial crime at the FCA, said: “We are beginning to rebuild a culture within financial services that is more centred on consumer needs, with a regulator in place that has the right tools and approach, to uphold and encourage the standards the public has the right to expect.”
It’s likely that every financial services business is going to be individually assessed on culture by the regulators. They will determine if there are any improvements in areas like individual accountability, remuneration, conduct rules and whistle-blowing, and whether senior management are proving the right values and behaviours. This will require a broad set of internal stakeholders from across the business to come together, including those of different generations or rank, under the close sponsorship of board members. These stakeholders must pay attention to identifying priority areas where improvements really need to happen, following through on changes created to make accountability a core component of the company.
To overcome the challenges of SMCR and incorporate its great potential, organisations must begin by upskilling their HR, Compliance and Risk teams on all SMCR conditions as early as possible to see to it nothing falls into any cracks and to drive real and lasting change. Only by doing this can business ensure regime compliance and, most critically, gain the organisation advantages and benefits that an increase in ownership and accountability will drive.
We have inexpensive and practical scalable software available that will centrally and securely manage each of these areas for you and reduce time wasted on keeping personalised, individual logs, review evidence, download and access “footprint” trails, that are often impossible with the average PC based systems and nested folders.

To talk with one of our experts about how we can help your company respond to the SMCR, or adapting our skills to any industry or enterprise, contact us today.

Other Posts you ay find of interest
Senior Managers & Certification Regime https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2mj
SMCR: Client dealing function CF30 https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2n4
Head of Legal https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2mm
Systems & Controls https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2nb
SMCR: Intermediary revenue criteria for the enhanced tier https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2n7
SMCR: Limited Scope Firms https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2nd
Lee Werrell Chartered FCSI
Compliance Doctor
0207 097 1434.
http://ComplianceDoctor.co.uk

SMCR: is your HR function prepared for good results

The Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SMCR) and Conduct Rules mark a new era for the UK’s beleaguered financial services industry. The new regime is one of the strictest individual accountability edicts throughout all industries, resulting in executives open to punishments, including jail, for failure beneath their oversight.

This is not merely a “Compliance” thing, it is most definitely an area wherein not only the board, executive committee and individual directors ought to appreciate what they are accountable for, but some other teams in the business as well. The HR operation must play a main role in handling the processes that underpin long-term compliance.

Historically, the operation focused on three parts of the employee lifecycle, drawing in talent, taking care of employment issues whilst it is there and letting it go. But the SMCR means HR has to ascertain employees are ‘fit and proper’, manage regulatory submissions, present much more detailed regulatory references, clarify employees’ roles and help map their responsibilities, manage breaches to the conduct rules and disciplinary sanctions, and even review and carry out the necessary changes to the HR lifecycle.
To rise to its new role as the protector of SMCR compliance from the firm’s perspective, HR should ensure that important changes are embedded across the employee lifecycle. If they are produced successfully, they have the potential to make a permanent and positive difference to how the business is managed and controlled. This can be obtained in 2 steps; by focusing then producing core HR processes suitable for the Senior Managers & Certification Regime and then supporting their company to welcome these changes.

Step one: Make your core HR processes suitable for SMCR

Bulletproof record-keeping methods and technology
The SMCR demands that, as well as making certain the employee’s current background check is sufficiently strong, business must develop processes and systems to store employees’ records for external scrutiny over a lengthy period. This is six years for all employees after they leave the organisation and 10 years for senior managers thanks to the fully extended period of investigation and any bonus clawback. It also necessitates business to keep an audit trail of the actions taken if a breach of the conduct rules takes place and track any disciplinary processes, outcomes and actions, all fitness and propriety reviews and any training delivered around the regime.
If at all possible, the Certification Regime should be handled and managed similarly with checks that are equally as robust and documentary evidence of functions, performance and execution of any of those in a position of causing harm to the company. Certificated and even non-certificated staff (excluding ancillary staff) are also obligated to comply with the FCA Code of Conduct rules (COCON).
If a breach does take place, it is HR’s responsibility to demonstrate that appropriate record-keeping processes and tools reside in place to flag any misconduct. Information should also be provided in a timely manner with internal stakeholders, for instance, audit and compliance, and the regulator.
Currently, record-keeping is patchy across the financial services sector, with standards across businesses varying considerably. So, though the extent to which employee records may be shared is still to be defined legally, business need to see to it their record-keeping processes and tools are embedded and flawless.
Control breaches and suspected breaches
A breach will cause one or several people coming under scrutiny and potentially being suspended, impacting business as usual and intensifying the level of anxiety among staff and management. The HR function must be fully ready to address the human and the business impact concerning this.
From the employee’s point of view, being under investigation could be overwhelming and detrimentally impact a career and reputation, even if proven innocent. The onus is on the FCA to prove deception or incompetence, they will have to carry the burden of proof, but companies should be clear where responsibility lies for giving assistance to employees during an investigation and what sort of support could be offered. The company’s management need to also update job descriptions to make sure an appointed individual is responsible for dealing with such events, and has obtained not only the appropriate training and coaching to do so effectively, but also the appropriate Management Information (MI) to make them knowledgeable about any issues.
Breach scenarios are a wonderful way for you to see how your organisation would react if one arose. Designing tailored answers, in addition to creating a rapid response team that is trained to manage such events, could all be necessary actions.
Align performance management.
The regime’s requirements mean organisations must have a performance review process that ensures their employees are ‘fit and proper’. Especially, the process should assess fitness and propriety throughout the year, not just at an annual review. This is a good incentive for firms to take stock of their yearly performance review processes, and may cause significant changes to how and when they evaluate their people, and integrate them with the necessary regime checks.
Train those at the top
For senior managers, the focus of training should be on presenting a corporate framework and tailored leadership development programme that enables them to evidence their ‘reasonable steps’ commitments. Ongoing stress tests and scenario analysis will definitely help senior managers make the appropriate enhancements to their overall governance, controls and delegations as their business or functional units evolve within the company. This will assure the correct training, decision making etc. is in place and raise any potential issues.

fca template compliance manual risk management fca handbookStep two: Support the company’s culture and values

Attract talent and enhance the corporate brand
Tarnished by bad press and a catalogue of scandals, the financial services industry has been striving to attract needed talent.
The new regulations provide an unmissable opportunity to improve the reputation of the financial services industry as a whole, and the winners will be organisations that have fully embraced and embedded the required changes to a degree that positively impacts their employer brand. Carried out correctly, these changes could even improve public perception of the corporate brand.
Redefine culture
Under SMCR, ensuring a culture of compliance and risk management has become a prescribed responsibility for the board and senior managers. A standardised and transparent operational risk framework is key to these changes.
As Tracey McDermott, the former Director of Enforcement and Financial crime at the FCA, said: “We are beginning to rebuild a culture within financial services that is more centred on consumer needs, with a regulator in place that has the right tools and approach, to uphold and encourage the standards the public has the right to expect.”
It’s likely that every financial services company is likely going to be individually assessed on culture by the regulators. They will determine if there are any improvements in areas for example, individual accountability, remuneration, conduct rules and whistle-blowing, and whether senior management are displaying the right values and behaviours. This will require a broad set of internal stakeholders from across the business to come together, involving those of different generations or rank, under the close sponsorship of board members. These stakeholders must target identifying priority areas where improvements really need to happen, following through on changes developed to make accountability a core section of the business.
To overcome the challenges of SMCR and incorporate its great potential, organisations must begin by upskilling their HR, Compliance and Risk teams on all SMCR needs as early as possible to be sure nothing falls into any cracks and to drive real and lasting change. Only by doing this can organisations ensure regime compliance and, most critically, gain the company advantages and benefits that an increase in ownership and accountability will drive.

We have affordable and practical scalable software available that will centrally and securely manage all of these areas for you and reduce time wasted on keeping personalised, individual logs, review evidence, download and access “footprint” trails, that are often impossible with the average PC based systems and nested folders.

To speak to one of our experts about how we can help your firm respond to the SMCR, or adapting our skills to any industry or enterprise, contact us today.

You may also be interested in
Senior Managers & Certification Regime https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2mj
SMCR: Client dealing function CF30 https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2n4
Head of Legal https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2mm
Systems & Controls https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2nb
SMCR: Intermediary revenue criteria for the enhanced tier https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2n7
SMCR: Limited Scope Firms https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2nd
Lee Werrell Chartered FCSI
Compliance Doctor
0207 097 1434
smcr supplement compliance manual insurer

SMCR: Your Action Points

SMCR-Senior-Managers-certification-regime-fca

This post summarises the steps which core and limited scope and enhanced firms are likely to have to take in order to adhere to the regime. To promote internal discussion and planning around these changes, we summarise a few of the steps which will be required relative to SMCR.

Although only senior managers have to evidence their compliance with the SMCR, virtually every member of staff within a financial services firm has to have had their professional competence certified, CPD assessed and their conduct evaluated at least annually. Again, this should be documented and reported on to the FCA.

Who does this apply to?
So banks have had to meet these standards for the past couple of years but now the rules have been extended to cover almost all Financial Services Firms from Insurers to IFA’s, essentially it will apply to all FSMA authorised firms. It also applies to branches of non-UK firms with permission to carry out regulated activities in the UK.
The FCA have created three new classifications to allow the requirements to be applied in line with potential risk. Enhanced which, will have expected to meet requirements that are similar to the banking SM&CR rules; Core (which applies to the majority) and Limited Scope who will have a lighter set of requirements. The regime applies per legal entity so if you have more than one legal entity in your firm then you need to apply the regime to each one, again adding complexity and admin so you may want to consider a system like ours.
What are the requirements?
We have summarised these below
fca template compliance manual risk management fca handbookEnhanced Firms have 17 SMF’s; 12 Prescribed Responsibilities and some additional Overall Responsibilities. Full details are in Chapter 7 of the FCA paper itself.
Core Firms have 6 SMF’s to report on which comprise of 4 Governing Functions namely Chief Executive; Executive Director; Partner; Chair and 2 Required Functions; Compliance Oversight and Money Laundering Reporting Officer. There are also 5 Prescribed Responsibilities that must be given to Senior Managers and an additional responsibility for Authorised Fund Managers if relevant– remember to duplicate this for each legal entity!
Limited Firms have 3 SMF’s, SMF 29, Limited Scope Function; SMF16, Compliance Oversight; SMF 17, Money Laundering Officer. The Governing Functions will depend on specific permissions and activities and the FCA direct you to their handbook to read about these. No Prescribed Responsibilities apply to Limited Scope firms.
Implementation of the SMCR rules – your action points:
  • Identify appropriate business functions and business areas across all entities that are within the regime as relevant authorised persons. This includes identifying the FCA’s 27 categories of activity are already allocated
  • Identify current Significant Influence Function (SIF) holders of relevant entities and consider how they will be grandfathered over into new roles under the new regime. Confirm these are suitable.
  • Identify any territorial scope issues relating to the location of key personnel and teams.
  • Review current organisational charts and reporting lines for all impacted entities to collaborate in analysis of which individuals will have total responsibility for key functions by reporting to the Board and which individuals are senior but do not require to be approved as Senior Managers within the key business area function. In complex groups review reporting lines out of the UK or into the UK and to group entities. Roles that have dual responsibility actually carry 100% responsibility each.
  • If reporting lines and organisational charts are not fully up to date or detailed, update to ensure they reflect the status before overlaying the new SMCR regime requirements.
  • Identify who will perform FCA SMFs (regardless structure of business).
  • Identify applicable responsibilities and functions for every Senior Manager.
  • Assess and map application of SMFs to business model.
  • Propose relevant re-organisation of structure to meet requirements relative to allocation of responsibility, where necessary.
  • Consult and agree with individual employees on the relevant responsibilities.
  • ( If necessary) restructure business areas reporting to Senior Managers in order to reach agreement relative to Statements of Responsibilities.
  • Draft template Statements of Responsibilities for different Senior Managers, where possible based upon existing job descriptions or any model statements provided by guidance from the regulators or elsewhere to follow requirements.
  • Ensure Statements of Responsibilities take into consideration collective decision-making and delegation where appropriate.
  • Implement reorganisation and change of reporting lines as required.
  • Establish processes for recruitment of Senior Managers which ensure that fitness and propriety, training and other issues have been taken into account ahead of time.
  • Establish processes for annual assessment of Senior Managers.
  • Possible recruitment for flexible, multi-availability with capacity, temporary compliance consultants to manage processes, including project management.
  • Educate Senior Managers on their responsibilities and processes and establishing processes for Senior Managers in regard to delegation.
  • Formulate plan for engagement with FCA in relation to approval process.
  • Draft forms for submission to FCA for approval.
compliance consultants london apcc compliance consulting firms in london fsmaFor Enhanced Firms only:
  • Write out firm management responsibilities map. In complex groups ensure that this takes proper account of relationships with other group entities for business silos.
  • Ensure that there is a Senior Manager with responsibility in every activity, business area and management function in the firm.
  • Ensure Statement of Responsibilities dovetailed holistically across all Senior Managers in addition to working at an individual level, ensuring that there are no gaps in or duplications of responsibilities.
  • Review and/or implement policy for handover procedures, laying out what information a new Senior Manager will have to hand when replacing a predecessor.
If you are a UK authorised firm, Compliance Consultant specialise in UK Regulatory Financial Services Governance Risk & Compliance, and can assist your firm in the preparations for the SM&CR. Just search Google for “Compliance Consultants, London” and look for our tag on Google Maps (we’re usually # 1).

We can assist in your governance monitoring and general compliance and risk management for an inexpensive solution and help you create the reports and responses you may need in differing situations. Call today!

Other blog posts on SMCR
Senior Managers & Certification Regime https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2mj
SMCR: Client dealing function CF30 https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2n4
Systems & Controls https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2nb
SMCR: Intermediary revenue criteria for the enhanced tier https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2n7
SMCR: Limited Scope Firms https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2nd
Lee Werrell Chartered FCSI
Compliance Doctor
0207 097 1434

SMCR: is your HR service prepared for good results

The Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SMCR) and Conduct Rules mark a new era for the UK’s beleaguered financial services industry.

The new regime is one of the strictest individual accountability guidelines across all industries, leaving executives vulnerable to penalties, including jail, for failings beneath their oversight.

This is not only a “Compliance” thing, it is most certainly an area in which not only the board, executive committee and individual directors must definitely appreciate what they are liable for, but other teams in the business likewise. The HR function must play a principal role in dealing with the processes that underpin long-term compliance. In the past, the function paid attention to three components of the employee lifecycle, drawing in talent, taking care of employment issues whilst it is there and letting it go. But the SMCR means HR has to make sure employees are ‘fit and proper’, manage regulatory submissions, supply added detailed regulatory references, clarify employees’ roles and help map their responsibilities, manage breaches to the conduct rules and disciplinary sanctions, and even review and employ the required changes to the HR lifecycle.
To rise to its new role as the protector of SMCR compliance from the firm’s perspective, HR should be sure significant changes are embedded across the employee lifecycle. If they are created appropriately, they have the potential to produce a permanent and positive difference to how the firm is managed and run. This can possibly be obtained in two steps; by focusing then creating core HR processes fit for the Senior Managers & Certification Regime and after that supporting their business to welcome these changes.

Step one: Craft your core HR processes fit for SMCR

compliance consultants london apcc compliance consulting firms in london fsmaBulletproof record-keeping procedures and technology
The SMCR require that, in addition to making sure that the employee’s current background check is sufficiently effective, companies must develop processes and systems to store employees’ records for external scrutiny over a lengthy period. This is six years for all employees after they leave the organisation and ten years for senior managers due to the fully extended period of investigation and any bonus clawback. It also demands organisations to keep an audit trail of the actions taken if a breach of the conduct rules takes place and trail any disciplinary processes, outcomes and actions, all fitness and propriety reviews and any training delivered around the regime.
Ideally, the Certification Regime should be handled and managed the same way with checks that are exactly as robust and documentary evidence of duties, performance and decision making of all of those in a position of causing harm to the firm. Certificated and even non-certificated staff (excluding ancillary staff) are also required to follow the FCA Code of Conduct rules (COCON).
If a breach does arise, it is HR’s responsibility to demonstrate that appropriate record-keeping procedures and tools remain in place to flag any misconduct. Information should also be provided in a timely manner with internal stakeholders, including audit and compliance, and the regulator.
Currently, record-keeping is patchy across the financial services sector, with standards across businesses varying considerably. So, although the extent to which employee records may be shared is still being defined legally, companies need to see to it that their record-keeping processes and tools are embedded and reliable.
Handle breaches and suspected breaches
A breach will certainly cause one or several senior managers coming under scrutiny and potentially being suspended, impacting business as usual and raising the level of anxiety among staff and management. The HR function must be fully ready to address the human and the business impact concerning this.
From the employee’s standpoint, being under investigation may possibly be overwhelming and negatively impact a career and reputation, whether or not proven innocent. The obligation lays on the FCA to prove deception or incompetence, they will need to carry the burden of proof, but businesses should be very clear where responsibility lies for providing assistance to employees during an investigation and what form of support may possibly be offered. The firm’s management need to also update job descriptions to ensure an appointed individual is accountable for handling such events, and has obtained not only the appropriate training and coaching to do so effectively, but also the appropriate Management Information (MI) to make them aware of any issues.
Breach scenarios are a great way for you to see how your company would react if one developed. Designing tailored answers, and also creating a rapid response team that is trained to manage such events, could all be necessary actions.
Align performance management.
The regime’s requirements mean businesses must have a performance review process that ensures their employees are ‘fit and proper’. Particularly, the process should assess fitness and propriety throughout the year, not just at an annual review. This is a good incentive for companies to examine their yearly performance review processes, and may lead to significant changes to how and when they evaluate their people, and integrate them with the necessary regime checks.
Train those at the top
For senior managers, the focus of training should be on rolling out a corporate framework and adapted leadership development programme that allows them to evidence their ‘reasonable steps’ obligations. Ongoing stress tests and scenario analysis will definitely help senior managers make the appropriate improvements to their overall governance, controls and delegations as their business or functional units evolve within the company. This will make certain the correct training, decision making etc. is in place and raise any potential issues.

Step two: Support the company’s culture and values

fca template compliance manual risk management fca handbookAttract talent and enhance the corporate brand
Tarnished by bad press and a catalogue of scandals, the financial services industry has been battling to attract needed talent.
The new regulations provide an unmissable opportunity to boost the reputation of the financial services industry as a whole, and the winners will be companies that have completely embraced and embedded the required changes to a degree that positively impacts their employer brand. Performed correctly, these changes could even improve public perception of the corporate brand.
Redefine culture
Under SMCR, boosting a culture of compliance and risk management has become a required responsibility for the board and senior managers. A standardised and transparent operational risk framework is vital to these changes. As Tracey McDermott, the former Director of Enforcement and Financial crime at the FCA, said: “We are beginning to rebuild a culture within financial services that is more centred on consumer needs, with a regulator in place that has the right tools and approach, to uphold and encourage the standards the public has the right to expect.”
It’s likely that every financial services business is likely going to be individually assessed on culture by the regulators. They will determine if there are any improvements in areas for instance, individual accountability, remuneration, conduct rules and whistle-blowing, and whether senior management are showing the right values and behaviours. This will require a broad set of internal stakeholders from across the business to come together, incorporating those of different generations or rank, under the close sponsorship of board members. These stakeholders must work on identifying priority areas where improvements really need to happen, following through on changes developed to make accountability a core component of the business.
To overcome the challenges of SMCR and seize its great potential, organisations must begin by upskilling their HR, Compliance and Risk teams on all SMCR demands as early as possible to ensure that nothing falls into any cracks and to drive real and lasting change. Only by doing so can companies ensure regime compliance and, most critically, gain the organisation advantages and benefits that an increase in ownership and accountability will drive.
We have affordable and practical scalable software available that will centrally and securely manage each of these areas for you and reduce time wasted on keeping personalised, individual logs, review evidence, download and access “footprint” trails, that are often impossible with the average PC based systems and nested folders.

To speak to one of our experts about how we can help your firm respond to the SMCR, or adapting our skills to any industry or enterprise, contact us today.

Other posts that may interest you
Senior Managers & Certification Regime https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2mj
SMCR: Client dealing function CF30 https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2n4
Head of Legal https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2mm
Systems & Controls https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2nb
SMCR: Intermediary revenue criteria for the enhanced tier https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2n7
SMCR: Limited Scope Firms https://wp.me/p7OMfd-2nd
Lee Werrell Chartered FCSI
Compliance Doctor
0207 097 1434
compliance consultants london apcc compliance consulting firms in london fsma compliance guru

How to Combat Diabetes With Technology

[amazon_link asins=’1118024303,1522021140,0198719795,1119240239,B01AS2T0ZA’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’digieboodown-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’5d5c766c-849a-11e7-bdc2-1b7420a1b569′]

Discovering that you have to live with a condition such as diabetes for the rest of your life can be tough to accept. Living with a chronic condition like diabetes can be cumbersome, especially if it requires constant monitoring and care. While technology has not advanced as much to cure diabetes entirely, it has advanced to produce medical devices that can reduce your day to day stress to a great extent.

One of the largest sources of stress among people living with diabetes can be insulin delivery. With multiple injections, puncturing your skin multiple times a day can be traumatic and frustrating and calculating dosages can be time consuming and confusing. However, in recent years, there have been tremendous breakthroughs in insulin injection devices and insulin delivery systems that can help reduce the hardships of insulin delivery. Devices such as injection ports and insulin pens and syringes with smaller needles help ease the pain and anxiety of taking insulin injections; while insulin pumps help the user to accurately calculate doses and deliver insulin by infusion set. These advances have helped those living with diabetes complain more with the insulin delivery. Additionally, tracking blood sugar and carbohydrates levels can be difficult to juggle with any schedule, but is crucial to effective care. To aid in this, various glucose meters and carb sensors have been introduced to the market that make testing quick, painless and easy to incorporate in your daily schedule.

To help you further manage your diabetes, there are various websites that offer tracking software.These sites let you enter details such as daily glucose readings, diet, and exercise, and produce the data in charts allowing you to view your daily activities over a period of time. With the help of these reports, you can gain a better understanding as to what affects your glucose / carb levels and make adjustments when necessary. Printing these reports for your doctor visits can be a helpful resource to help them understand your diabetes management and the variables that might be affecting your levels in a more comprehensive way.

Technological advances can also be used to maintain a healthy weight level for those with diabetes. Recently introduced to the market, the Wii fit is a great way to get the proper amount of exercise you need on a daily basis. While the Wii fit was made for various types of people to use, it has many applications that can directly help those with diabetes. For instance, each person can create a personal profile where height and age are entered, and the Wii fit will automatically calculate weight and body mass index. A profile on the Wii fit charts daily progress based on your own personal weight goals, and many times, when you can see your progress charted out, it's an incentive to keep working and losing weight.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Catherine Albertson

[amazon_link asins=’191064952X,B01M9I0CT8,0670923303,B01M9C1Y3S,0802414869,1494463180,1471164934,0198268238,B01N190549′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’digieboodown-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’8bf0d388-84f1-11e7-bab5-71b20341157b’] [layerslider id=”2″]

Ideas to Add Some Fun to Your Fitness Program

[amazon_link asins=’1118024303,1522021140,0198719795,1119240239,B01AS2T0ZA’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’digieboodown-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’5d5c766c-849a-11e7-bdc2-1b7420a1b569′]

Finding fun fitness ideas is such a wide open proposition because there are so different ways to engage in exercise related activities which produce results and to have fun at the same time. Exercising does not have to be boring and unexciting as there are many ways to get your body moving where you can gain the benefits of exercise and have fun doing it. Here are a sample of suggestions:

o Do it with a Friend
o Switch up your Activities
o Get the Whole Family Involved

Do it with a Friend

Nothing can add a needed dynamic to a fitness regime then a workout partner. If you are use to doing your fitness routine alone get a friend involved and you can add a level of fun to your workouts not experienced before. A workout partner can offer encouragement and reinforcement only possible when you have someone there during your training. You can also help them by encouraging them to set goals, stay committed and enjoy your time together. When you go through those tough times and motivation is low a workout partner can be a lifesaver that provides the necessary motivation to continue with the workout. Maybe you can add some sound advice for your partner also by providing motivation when it is needed most. Sometimes working out with a partner adds the right atmosphere to push your routine to the next level of accomplishment and have someone there to share your achievement. Working out with a partner offers a level of camaraderie not available when you train alone.

Switch up your Activities

It really does not matter what activity is performed during a fitness program as long as the activity is able to produce the desired results. There's a host of methods available to achieve many fitness goals. There are so many varied programs available today that everyone is bound to find some aspect that is appealing to them and will lead to improving their fitness level, and these activities are fun too! Try some of these ideas if you are looking to add an element of fun and variety to your fitness program.

Hiking: with the many parks and preserves located around the country today hiking at any level is a very enjoyable fitness activity. If you add the element of photography or bird watching to the routine it may not seem like exercise at all. With the graduated hikes and cliffs hiking can offer a challenge for anyone at any fitness level.

Walking: There's a lot of very beautiful parks and scenery where walkers are enjoying an environment which hard looks like exercise. The visual stimulation and fresh air provide many health benefits for the participant. If you can find a partner or two to join you on regular walks you can add friendly conversation while you walk as well.

Bicycling: The amount of leg and cardio-vascular exercise offered from bicycling is fundamental for anyone looking to improve their fitness in these areas. When you add the excitation of the open road and the scenery to be enjoyed the hours will pass and you will not even realize how much work you have put into exercising.

Jump Ropping: This activity has been around for a long time and is very popular because of the fun and challenge it presents. It is a great cardio exercise and can be fun just to see how many new tricks you can perform with the jump routes. Weighted routes are available also and counter which can tell you how many times you have completed successful rotations.

Dodge-ball: Popular with all ages this activity is great for agility and flexibility. It requires a large range of motion and involves all the senses when performing. The number of people involved in the game allows for much stimulating interaction and makes the activity fun for all.

Of course this is only a partial list of the possible fun fitness related activities that are possible. Exercising does not have to be boring and by using a number of modes to get your body moving you can gain the benefits of exercise and have fun at the same time.

Get the Whole Family Involved

You may consider setting up a home gym and getting the whole family involved in a circuit course training rule. Many home gyms are suitable for constructing a customized training routine or you can choose from a number of pre-designed routines. Either way you can get the whole family involved by setting individual fitness goals and working together to achieve them. A progress chart can be created which is posted on the wall and updated after each workout. You can include stars for achievements and even award special privileges for consistent work and results.

Many different kinds of equipment are available for purchase which also can make exercising more fun. Here are a few:

Heavy Hoops: These pieces of equipment are simply weighed hula hoops. This type of activity can be a great deal of fun especially in the beginning when you are first learning the proper technique to keep the hoop in motion. It offers both a challenge and exercise at the same time with progressive weights for improvement.

Medicine Balls: Going back to a time when exercise was less sophisticated the medicine ball was used to develop upper body strength and improve overall health conditions. The balls come in sizes which vary also in weight. There are many different techniques that can be used for tossing the medicine balls which can potentially provide a workout which improves strength, flexibility and coordination.

Pogo-Sticks: This exercise apparatus is thought of by most to be a toy but until you actually try and use one you will soon find it takes a lot of work. The benefits from using a pogo-stick include leg strength, coordination and balance. The upper body is also used when trying to master this simple but yet effective exercise tool. This piece of equipment will provide you with many hours of fitness fun when you combine it with the company of others.

Whatever activities you decide to use to meet your fitness goals always be on the lookout for more fun filled and exciting ways to add the element of fun to your workouts. Nothing frees up the energy reserves more then fun can.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Richard Spillane

[amazon_link asins=’191064952X,B01M9I0CT8,0670923303,B01M9C1Y3S,0802414869,1494463180,1471164934,0198268238,B01N190549′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’digieboodown-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’8bf0d388-84f1-11e7-bab5-71b20341157b’] [layerslider id=”2″]

Corporate Mission Statements

[amazon_link asins=’1118024303,1522021140,0198719795,1119240239,B01AS2T0ZA’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’digieboodown-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’5d5c766c-849a-11e7-bdc2-1b7420a1b569′]

Mission statements have become a very common business tool with more than 50% of the companies in USA and UK having some form of mission statement. It has been realized that there is a need to clarify to the employees the purpose and philosophy of the company. The recognition of the importance of organization culture has created the interest in the purpose of setting up a kind of a message, highlighting the company purpose and management philosophy. It has realized, that the middle management is always becoming more and more demanding of their organization, and regularly asking for clarifications of direction of purpose and values, and the "inner identity" of the corporate.

As a result, the corporate, in searching for the right tool to help them manage, has come with mission statements, where it has tried to put forth the company's identity, its purpose, and a philosophy, for a better management of the organization. But, regardless of the attention being given to mission statements, there is little understanding as to what such a statement should include, and what role it has to play in the management of the company's identity or culture. These facts have been gathered after extensive research, involving interviews with managers, and studying in-numerable mission statements from all over the world.

There is a need to understand how an organization can enthide commitment amongst its managers and employees, and what should a mission statement play in this process. The word 'Mission' of a corporate would generally mean the identification of the organization's character, and the reason for its very existence. A mission statement should be characterized by projecting four parts of an organization: purpose, strategy, values, and behavior standards. The "Strategy" would address the nature of business, meaning, the organization's position vis-à-vis their competitors. It includes the source of the organization's competitive edge. The "Behavior Standards" would define the norms and rules that the organization follows, "Values" would be the principles of the moral value that forms the base of the behavior standards, and "Beliefs" would be the very faith on which the organization has was built upon, a faith which has been drilled into the organization by its founding dynasty.

There are frustrations in business processes. These frustrations evolve with the business having no definite purpose or direction. It has become so necessary for organizations to put forth a mission, which provides a clear business conception, its purpose, and its mission.

"A strong sense of corporate identity is as important as slavish adherence to business unit financial results". Michael Porter1.

The question comes up, how to practice what is written in a mission statement, such as the one which says, 'to reach beyond minimal'. Beliefs are said to be the signposts, guides, and goals of the organization, which are open to discussions. It becomes a document forming base on which the company exists.

"Beliefs are another professional tool of management to be utilized to reach our common goals". James Bere2.

"I recently visited the local office of a company that for many years has prided itself on its elegantly worded mission statement. Indeed. asked me if there was anything else I wanted. he asked. 'You know.' I told him 'that document on the wall as you walk in.' He was completely mystified. I finally took him over to the door and showed him what I was talking about. I left him staring at the mission statement, open mouthed and reading it, no doubt, for the first time. " Laura Nash3

In preparing a mission statement, the suggestion for the need of one may come from an external consultant. This, he may suggest, as a requirement to help and unite the company. In writing such a statement, the questions that are asked, in an attempt to write a mission statement, often brings out the gaps that the senior management has in its thinking process. The pressure in describing an organizations strategy, and management approach, also comes from the financial institutions or communities. This acts as external stimuli in forming a document, concluding that of a mission statement. The present need for a mission statement is also felt, when analysts and financial commentators become critical about the function of the managers, who lack strong commitment for the company's vision, activities, and management style.

The requirement for a mission statement also comes from within the company, becoming internal stimuli. There are three sources for such stimuli. The first one develops from the internal audience, such as, the section of middle management, wanting clarifications on where the company is heading to, and what the company stands for. The second source may come from the company executives themselves, having deep differences in opinion immerging out of discussions relating to the future of the company, and in the matter of company governance. The Chief Executive himself could be the third source, who may find that there is a need for a change in strategy and culture, and may re-write the mission of the organization, and communicate the change down the line. This change could have been on the basis of a new rule.

1 Michael E Porter – 'From Competitive Advantage to Corporate Strategy'. Harvard Business Review, May- June, 1987. P 52

2 James Bere, Chief executive Officer. Borg-Warner Corporation. Quoted in Harvard Business School, Case No 383-091. 'The Beliefs of Borg-Warner'.

3 Laura Nash – 'Mission Statements – Mirrors and Windows'. Harvard Business Review, March-April 1988 p. 155.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Prabir Sen

[amazon_link asins=’191064952X,B01M9I0CT8,0670923303,B01M9C1Y3S,0802414869,1494463180,1471164934,0198268238,B01N190549′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’digieboodown-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’8bf0d388-84f1-11e7-bab5-71b20341157b’] [layerslider id=”2″]

Senior Downsizing

[amazon_link asins=’1118024303,1522021140,0198719795,1119240239,B01AS2T0ZA’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’digieboodown-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’5d5c766c-849a-11e7-bdc2-1b7420a1b569′]

I recently became a Certified Senior Move Manager. What does that mean? Senior Move managers are certified to help seniors move from a home they have owned for a number of years to a senior center, assisted living or just downsize to a condominium. They help all seniors make the move easy and painless.

It is said that over the next 20 years, more seniors will be moving to various new homes for downsizing purposes than ever before. The baby boomers are retiring now and making that downsizing decision. Because we have the opportunity to purchase more belongings than in the past, the baby boomers have more to sort and donate, toss, give to their children, or take with them to their new home. Making the decision on what to take to the new home is daunting. It requires many decisions and sometimes hours or days of work. Professional organizers can help in this situation.

When it comes to sorting through all the items that have been collected over the years, professional organizers can use their organizing skills to accomplish this task. They can arrange to have items donated or shipped to any relative. Most will do the work instead of just telling you how to do everything yourself. The feelings of losing so many items can be overwhelming and very hard for many. The professional organizer knows how to handle this and as a third party provides a sounding board for many of the decisions.

Senior Move Managers can help move any senior including those with disabilities such as Alzheimer's or hearing loss. The training and certification teach them the skills to apply in all situations.

Downsizing to any new location can be incredibly stressful. Planning the move, packing for the move, sorting belongings, and unpacking can be overwhelming. Having someone there to assist can offer a great relief. Sometimes furniture needs to be arranged for safety and that is another skill the senior move managers have been trained on.

Senior move managers are a great resource especially if your relative lives out of state.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Julie Riber

[amazon_link asins=’191064952X,B01M9I0CT8,0670923303,B01M9C1Y3S,0802414869,1494463180,1471164934,0198268238,B01N190549′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’digieboodown-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’8bf0d388-84f1-11e7-bab5-71b20341157b’] [layerslider id=”2″]