Broking Business Winter 2019/2020: SMCR – It’s here

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The Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR) came into effect on 9 December and affects all insurance intermediaries. Samiha Shaikh, Senior Manager at PKF Littlejohn provides a checklist that will keep you in line with the specifications.

The document’s key objectives are to define and confirm accountability for senior people in firms (clarifying their responsibilities), and make sure key individuals are well-skilled and capable of performing their roles.

The FCA has taken a proportionate approach, and most firms will need to comply with the core requirements.

SM&CR Check List

Make sure you’re where you need to be by reviewing your progress against our SM&CR check list.

By now, you should have:

  • Reviewed your governance framework, confirmed all areas of the business are well accounted for and that there is sound governance in place with no gaps.
  • Confirmed the automatic transition of senior managers from the Approved Persons (the previous regime) and made any submissions, as required to the FCA e.g. for the nona executive chair.
  • Allocated Senior Management Functions (SMFs) and Certified Functions (CFs) to the appropriate individuals (confirming they are fully aware and have agreed their responsibilities).
  • Allocated prescribed responsibilities to Senior Managers, where applicable.
  • Compiled clearly-articulated Statements of Responsibilities detailing what Senior Managers are accountable for.
  • Trained those allocated SMFs and CFs on the conduct rules.
  • Engaged HR, made a plan and prepared the firm for SM&CR ‘business as usual’ processes.

For Enhanced firms:

  • Additional functions and responsibilities to be allocated for Enhanced firms:
  • Requirement to create and maintain Responsibilities Maps
  • Complete and retain up to date handover procedures

Actions for the next 12 months:

  • Have procedures to maintain and review regulatory references and criminal checks for Senior Managers
  • Senior Managers to be able to demonstrate ‘reasonable steps’
  • Conduct the first suite of annual certification checks for Senior Managers and Certified Function holders.
  • Complete firm-wide training on the conduct rules (tailored and specific to staff as required)
  • Set up processes to onboard new Senior Managers and Certified Function holders:
    • Employment / onboarding procedures for requesting and checking
    • regulatory references, criminal checks
    • Processes to review and update Statements of Responsibilities
    • Continuous training in conduct rules for firm staff and new starters
    • Ensure all conduct rule breaches are identified, recorded and reported appropriately.
Written by Samiha Shaikh in our London office.