IA to reveal key questions FCA will ask in regulatory visits

adviser-clients

The Investment Association says that “surviving a regulator’s visit is now more difficult than ever” as it launches a course for financial firms in preparation for potential visits from the FCA.

In the course prospectus the trade body says firms and senior teams are likely to “come under intense scrutiny” adding that “for many firms this is a very stressful time, with senior executives feeling the pressure across all sectors”.

The half-day course, Preparing for an FCA Visit and Interview, takes place in London on 4 September and is aimed at executive committee and board members – including non-executive directors – senior managers and heads of key business areas.

The course promises to explain what to expect from an FCA visit – including the actual questions that will be asked – who is likely to be interviewed and which client activities are likely to be monitored.

Key areas of focus include: the FCA’s risk outlook; the Asset Management Market Study interim report; the Senior Management Certification Regime; corporate governance standards and the use of management information.

Last month the FCA published proposals on how it plans to extend the Senior Managers and Certification Regime that currently applies to the wider financial services industry.

The FCA supervises over 56,000 firms, which it splits into two groups: fixed portfolio firms that have the highest level of attention due to their size, market presence or customer base, and flexible portfolio firms which – unlike the former, are not allocated a named individual supervisor.

The FCA says fixed portfolio firms will have regular meetings with their FCA supervisors.

“These are likely to include your senior management as well as board members – the senior individuals who are accountable for the conduct of the firm,” the FCA says.

“We also talk to people involved in day-to-day operations at different levels throughout the firm, to help us understand your real working practices. As well as these regular meetings, we engage with you when new issues arise, and to maintain an ongoing understanding of your business. This is a normal part of our ongoing work with you, and can involve further meetings or visits to examine particular areas or emerging risks.”