Six months to go before the FCA’s new accountability regime comes into force

Law firm Cummings Fisher and Portman Compliance Consulting are warning fund managers that they now have only six months before the new Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) comes into force.

The SMCR will be administered by the Financial Conduct Authority and will replace its Approved Persons regime (APR).  The SMCR imposes a number of new requirements on fund managers including certification that more junior employees are fit and proper for their roles.

The SMCR comes into effect on 9th December 2019.  By this date fund managers will need to have completed an SMCR impact assessment, identify gaps in processes and procedures, identify and assess which individuals will be subject to the SMCR, and deliver training to all relevant staff.

Cummings Fisher and Portman have joined forces to provide a one stop shop for fund managers to provide SMCR legal and regulatory advice and deliver comprehensive compliance solutions by the FCA’s deadline.

James Tinworth, head of funds and financial services regulatory, Cummings Fisher, commented: “The new regime has been designed to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity.  By providing a new framework for approving and holding individuals to account, it aims to increase trust and improve culture.  It’s therefore a sensible and welcome move by the FCA but it does place another reasonably onerous regulatory burden on fund managers.”

There will be three tiers of firm under the SMCR – limited, core and enhanced. Cummings Fisher and Portman have developed a toolkit to help fund managers decide into which category they fall and therefore the degree of compliance they need to demonstrate:

Nancy King, partner at Portman, commented: “We have been gearing up for the introduction of the SMCR for some time as it’s a business critical issue for our clients.  We have now designed a comprehensive suite of documents to assist regulated firms with these requirements.”

David Palmer is Cummings Fisher’s financial services employment lawyer.  He commented: “The FCA will be rigorous in ensuring that all organisations to which the SMCR applies have policies and procedures in place.  Our work will be to help clients carry out an analysis of their organisation and map employment roles into the SMCR.  Once this is done we can assist in FCA communications, provide training, advise on personnel issues and update all legal, regulatory and compliance documents.”

For more information on the SMCR and how Cummings Fisher and Portman can help, please visit:

Portman Compliance Consulting specialises in providing regulatory support to FCA regulated firms.  Its consultants work with clients to determine risk in the evolving regulatory landscape and ensure comprehensive compliance support leaving them to focus on growth and new business opportunities.