A number of attendees raised concerns that current approved persons might be culled from the register because they would not meet the new requirements which would see only the firm itself and its senior managers listed.
The questions were raised at the end of a presentation on the topic by Peter Ewing, technical specialist, accountability at the FCA.
The FCA is currently consulting on its proposed new rules in this area – which Ewing said apply to nearly all FCA-regulated firms – and aim ‘to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by making individuals more accountable for their conduct and competence’.
In Ewing’s opinion, the views of advisers in this area should be made known via the consultation process to the FCA. “We think it’s right that we don’t approve people below senior manager level, so those people who we did previously approve won’t appear on the register in the future,” he said.
Robert Sinclair, chief executive of AMI, revealed the trade body would be debating this issue at its next meeting.
“AMI want the FCA to keep some form of register of those who have been approved to be viewed by consumers,” said Sinclair. “We believe most advisers want to retain some form of register.”
Sinclair added that there would be no changes for one-man band, directly authorised firms. Larger firms with employees must take responsibility for their fitness and propriety, and individuals must have a certificate issued by the firm about this which must be reviewed every year.
Ewing issued a word of warning for appointed representative (AR) firms, for whom the new regime will not apply.
The FCA’s Senior Managers consultation ends on 3 November.