FCA consults on extending deadline for introduction of Conduct Rules and FCA Directory reporting

On 17 July 2020 the FCA published Consultation Paper CP20/10 – “Extending implementation deadlines for the Certification Regime and Conduct Rules”.

Due to the impact of Coronavirus, the FCA had already announced that the deadline by which FCA solo-regulated firms were required to complete their first round of fit and proper testing of Certification Regime staff has been delayed until 31 March 2021.  The consultation paper looks to make the necessary amendments to affect this change, as well as to consult on the extension of the deadlines by which:

  1. the Conduct Rules come into force for non-Senior Managers;
  2. staff must be trained on the Conduct Rules; and
  3. data is to be reported to the FCA Directory.

In all cases, the extension would be from the current deadline of 9 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.  It is worth noting that the deadline for Conduct Rules breach reporting (which, for most firms, will begin in October 2021) has not been amended.  In addition, the proposals do not apply to benchmark administrators, who have until December 2021 to provide Conduct Rules training to non-Senior Managers anyway.

The deadline for comments on the consultation paper is 14 August 2020 and the FCA expects to publish a Policy Statement ahead of the current implementation date of 9 December 2020.

The FCA believes that most firms should be able to meet the original deadlines and encourages them to do so.  A quick and dirty straw poll of Corterum clients would suggest that the FCA is not far off the mark – with around half intending to take advantage of the extension and the other half intending to stick to the original 9 December 2020 deadline. Either way, it’s difficult to foresee the FCA receiving any objection so fundamental as to derail its proposals.  On that basis, expect them to make their way to the statute book in the autumn.