No, it’s not Paul McCartney, nor is it the Postcode lottery. Sorry!
The regulator recently released their expectations for firms utilising remote or hybrid working, including the announcement that the FCA has the power to visit any location where work is performed. Yes, your home! Whilst the likelihood that the FCA will turn up at your door tomorrow is limited, it does show the power the FCA has over the firms it regulates. There are many elements to this announcement that firms should take onboard.
As we shift to this ‘post-Covid’ way of working, the regulator is expecting firms to look at their oversight of these new working environments and the implications it has on business models.
We look to release further guidance on this to our firms over the coming weeks, but we will summarise some of the key expectations for currently regulated firms.
Regardless of what working environment a firm operates in (office, home, hybrid), the FCA expects that firms should;
- be able to meet their threshold conditions
- engage with the FCA where required
- ensure the register is correct (including place of business)
- review any temporary arrangement plans put in place during the pandemic, and revise them should they become permanent. This should also be reviewed regularly.
- ensure there is the appropriate governance and oversight and it has been considered how this will transpire during remote working.
- Consider their IT and data security arrangements.
- promote the correct culture
- consider the effect on staff in terms of wellbeing, training and D&I.
The above list is a selection of the regulator’s expectations, of which in itself is not an exhaustive list. Essentially the regulator is urging firms to look inward at their business model and ensure that any of the habits adopted in the last year and a half have had their wider impacts considered.
The regulator has also announced new expectations for anyone currently going through the authorisation process, so anyone considering going Directly Authorised should consider this. You should also consider that we might have a new guide coming out just on this topic…