The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is writing to firms to remind them of the deadline of 31 March 2021 for submitting data on a firm’s ‘Directory Persons’.
The Directory has been created as part of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (‘SMCR’). It is a publicly available database that provides details on:
- Certified staff i.e. individuals holding a certification function under SMCR
- Directors who are not performing Senior Management Functions – both executive and non-executive
- other individuals who are sole traders or Appointed Representatives – ARs (including those within ARs) where they are undertaking business with clients and require a qualification to do so
The submissions are made via the FCA’s ‘Connect’ portal. Within Connect there is a multiple upload facility. Firms using this multiple upload facility must submit the data by 18 March 2021 to ensure the submissions are processed ahead of the deadline.
The FCA also warns firms that failure to submit the required data on a timely basis could lead to enforcement or supervisory action, and that a £250 administration fee also applies for late or incorrect submissions.
SMCR took effect for so-called ‘Solo-regulated’ firms (i.e. firms that have the FCA as their sole UK financial services regulator) in December 2019. However there was a 12 month transition period – later extended to 15 months – to allow firms to issue certificates to certified staff and provide the FCA with the ‘Directory Persons’ data.
Notwithstanding these transitional arrangements, there is a seven business day deadline for the submission of various reports regarding ‘Directory Persons’, including where a certified staff member has commenced or ceased to perform a certification function or where a director not performing Senior Management Functions has become a director or has ceased to act as a director.
There is also an obligation on firms to submit a report confirming the accuracy of the data, where no ‘Directory Persons’ reports have been submitted in the previous 12 months.
31 March 2021 is also the deadline for firms to train staff (aside from senior managers and certified staff) on the Conduct Rules – click here if you’d like to find out more about our CPD-certified SMCR online training courses.