Senior Managers & Certification Regime – some key dates and forms

With less than 5 months to go before the FCA's Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR) for solo-regulated firms goes live, firms preparations should already be underway.

SM&CR firm category – Limited, Core or Enhanced?

Although the FCA will provide firms with an indicative assessment of their SM&CR category, firms themselves need to determine which category they will become under the new regime. The FCA provides a 'Firm Checker Tool' on its website to assist in this process.

Opting-up or down a category – Form O

Core firms can ask to opt up to the Enhanced regime, and Limited Scope firms can ask to opt up to the Core regime by submitting Form O.  Before the new regime begins firms can ask to opt-down to their original category by emailing the FCA.  However, while firms can opt-down once the new regime has begun, the revocation of the opt-up will not take effect for 12 months during which time they must continue to meet the requirements of the opted-up category.

Manual mapping[1] of functions – Form K

In Limited Scope and Core firms, most of the current Controlled Functions will automatically convert to the new Senior Management Functions (SMF). However some firms will need to use Form K (the Conversion Notification) where no corresponding function exists.  Enhanced firms have to submit a Form K to notify the FCA of which current Approved Persons should be converted manually to a mapped SMF. 

New SM&CR applications – Form A

Any firms applying for approval of an individual to hold a new SMF under the new regime will need to use SM&CR Form A.

Note that this form should not be used for any firm seeking approval for an individual who will be carrying out Controlled Functions before the new regime commences.  The current Approved Persons regime needs to be followed until 9 December 2019 and any applications not approved before the changeover will simply be converted to an application for the mapped SMF once the new regime is underway.

Key dates coming up

  • Form K and Form A will become available on 9 September 2019.
  • The deadline for submitting Form O and Form K is 24 November 2019.
  • The new SM&CR regime begins on 9 December 2019.

Further information

If you would like to discuss any issues arising from this, please contact Jonathan Kitchin, Partner, or Katharine Everett Nunns, Barrister, in the Litigation & Regulatory Disputes Team.

This note is for general information only and does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice and is not intended to be relied upon as such. If you have any questions relating to your particular circumstances, you should seek independent legal advice.

[1] The FCA's Guide for solo-regulated firms provides further information on mapping functions between the old and new regimes (Sections 14 and 15).