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Everything you need to know about the FCA Directory

Under the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (the “SM&CR”), the FCA maintains and publishes a directory of certain assessed people working with financial services (the “FCA Directory”) so that consumers can check the details of individuals with which they may do business.

If you are a firm which is subject to the SM&CR, here’s what you need to know about the FCA Directory…

  1. Information must be provided to the FCA on all “Directory Persons”, being (a) Certification Employees, (b) directors who are not Senior Managers (whether executive or non-executive), and (c) sole traders and appointed representatives who undertake business with clients and require a qualification to do so.
  2. The information which must be submitted to the FCA Directory includes:
    • Individual’s name
    • Date of Birth
    • Individual Reference Number (IRN)
    • National Insurance Number (or passport number if the individual has no National Insurance Number)
    • Relevant role(s) held
    • Start and end date of each role
    • Type of business the individual is qualified to undertake
    • Workplace location(s)
    • Customer engagement method(s)
    • Membership of relevant accredited bodies
  3. Firms must keep FCA Directory data up-to-date on an ongoing basis.  More specifically, firms have 7 business days to update information on joiners, leavers and changes in circumstances.  In practice, firms must be constantly checking the veracity of FCA Directory data.
  4. If a Directory Person ceases to be certified or otherwise considered suitable by their firm to hold their role due to a period of prolonged leave, their entry in the FCA Directory must be updated.
  5. Annually, firms must confirm the accuracy of their FCA Directory data – even if no information has changed in the intervening period.
  6. Directory Persons are responsible for providing accurate information to their employer.
  7. Employers are responsible for verifying the information provided to it and notifying the FCA via the “Connect” system.  The FCA will not subsequently edit or amend Directory Person information it receives – it must be accurate and up-to-date when submitted to the FCA.
  8. The Senior Manager with Prescribed Responsibility (b) (Responsibility for the firm’s performance of its obligations under the employee certification regime) is ultimately accountable for the information provided to the FCA on Directory Persons.
  9. When submitting data on Directory Persons, the firm will be required to confirm that the information being reported is accurate and complete.  It is a criminal offence, knowingly or recklessly, to give the FCA information that is materially false, misleading or deceptive (Sections 398 and 400 of FSMA 2000).
  10. The FCA will contact relevant firms to require resubmission of data when an error is reported by a user.  Keep your data up-to-date – eventually someone will notice.
  11. A £250 administrative fee is payable where firms provide late or inaccurate data to the FCA with respect to Directory Persons.  However, “serious”, “material” or “repeated” breaches can result in supervisory or enforcement action on the part of the FCA.  Stay off the FCA’s radar!
  12. Updated information will typically appear on the FCA Directory one business day after it is submitted to the FCA.