General: UK

SMCR: FCA banking stocktake report

The FCA has published the findings of a review into how successfully the SMCR is embedded into the banking sector.

The results of this review will be of interest to firms in the banking sector as well as all other financial services firms to which the regime applies or will apply from 9 December 2019.

Read more in our blog: FCA to increase focus on SMCR conduct rules.

SMCR extension: FCA webpage on firm categorisation

The FCA has published a new webpage on the categorisation of firms under the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR) for solo-regulated firms. The webpage summarises how firms can change their SMCR category and the process for reviewing a firm's SMCR categorisation.

Consumer protection and competition powers: updated CMA and FCA MoUs

The FCA has published updated versions of its memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the FCA:

  • an MoU setting out the working arrangements between the CMA and FCA in relation to consumer protection matters in the financial services sector; and
  • an MoU between the CMA and FCA on their concurrent competition powers.

The MoUs were amended to reflect the changes introduced by the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018, which extended FCA's concurrent competition powers to include the provision of claims management services.

AI in the boardroom: FCA insights paper

On 1 August 2019, the FCA published an article, in its Insight section of its website, on artificial intelligence (AI) in the boardroom. The article was written by Magnus Falk, FCA senior adviser, and former UK government Deputy Chief Technology Officer:

"Boardrooms are going to have to learn to tackle some major issues emerging from AI – notably questions of ethics, accountability, transparency and liability."

The FCA states that the Insight section of its website is designed to promote access to some of the most interesting and thought provoking highlights of its analysis and research, with all content written and compiled either by members of staff, or by outside experts. On these pages, all authors write in an individual capacity, with the aim of sharing their research, insight, expertise and opinions as widely as possible. The intention is to stimulate public debate on a number of topics.

FCA regulatory perimeter: Treasury Committee report

The Treasury Committee has published a report on the FCA's perimeter of regulation. The Committee expresses concerns about the complexity of the perimeter.

It makes a number of recommendations and, among other things, notes that:

  • the informal system for the FCA requesting changes to regulatory perimeter from HM Treasury is insufficient;
  • the current system allows the grey area between regulated and non-regulated activities to be exploited; and
  • the FCA needs formal power to recommend to HM Treasury changes to perimeter of regulation.

The Committee states that if HM Treasury is not content to implement the changes as recommended by the Committee, HM Treasury must acknowledge that it has these responsibilities, and should report annually on the work it will do to monitor the perimeter of regulation.

The Committee states that its recommendations should be considered and brought forward by the Treasury as soon as possible.

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