Martin said that some brokers still had not completed paperwork — despite the sector having been warned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for not submitting information to the Directory Persons list, as part of SM&CR.
Martin suspected it was partly down to brokers not understanding the system, but also said the busy market had taken advisers’ attention giving them “an awful lot to do”.
The original deadline to submit certified staff was 31 March. Martin said: “To be fair to brokers, it was right at the time when they were equally trying to get people in for the stamp duty deadline.
“At that point we didn’t know there were going to be two deferments.”
She said: “There was a bit of an element of ‘we’ve got to go onto this system, it’s a new system, I don’t really get it, I’ll get to it at some point’.”
To help brokers get up to date with compliancy, Martin suggested using external specialists — in the same way firms delegate their financial information to accountants.
As TMA Club offers this support to its broker firms, Martin said she had seen “a huge amount,” of brokers come to the group for help, in light of the FCA’s warning.
She said: “This is a unique selling point of ours as a club: TMA very much uses the existing services of the network for doing that piece of work. This means looking at the directly appointed firms with a regulatory lens, because we’re a regulated business, and it’s those staff who are used to regulation and subscribe to it every day.
“Some of our competitors don’t have that functionality. We’ve seen some firms come to us from other clubs and ask, ‘can you do our file checking for us?’.”
Martin also said smaller firms may not have the time to go through all the papers released by the regulator. They often needed someone to summarise the contents and tell them what they needed to do.
“Those who want to be entrepreneurial, steer their own boat, run their own business – you can’t do it singlehandedly at the moment.
“You should seek out a broader group of people to support you. Go to people who are specialists,” she said.