The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will roll out two new frameworks “Senior Managers Regime” (SMR) and “Certification Regime” which provides more guidance around its plans to promote greater transparency in the banking sector.
Under the SMR, the financial agency is encouraging top-level managers to provide a clear distribution of their responsibilities to key decision- makers, which will boost individual accountability through ongoing assessments by the firm and regulators, says FCA.
The regulator is requiring that senior managers who are “capable of causing significant harm” to a financial institution and its stakeholders be annually assessed and certified according to the watchdog’s guidelines. To complement the SMR, the Certification Regime gives firms full responsibility to regularly-assess and certify key employees who can “risk the integrity of financial markets.”
“How a firm conducts its business and treats its customers must be at the heart of how it operates and this has to start at the top,” Martin Wheatley, chief executive officer, FCA, commented in a press release. “[These] policy measures are an important step in ensuring that regulators have the tools at their disposal to hold individuals to account and they build on the cultural change we are beginning to see in the boardrooms of firms across the country.”
These new rules are based on recommendations from a 2013 report by U.K. lawmakers, which call for banks to revamp its culture and standards amid a series of scandals that recently gripped the industry.
Companies will need to provide regulators with documentation that outlines the duties of senior managers, with the responsibility falling on executives to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to prevent misconduct.
The FCA will provide further information on how to manage the transition and implementation of these measures, which are slated to go into effect by March 7,2016.