Executives 'Must Engage To Improve Accountability In Financial Services'

Lawyer Comments As FCA Consults On New Regulations

15.07.2015

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Proposed changes which will improve accountability across the financial services industry must be embraced by senior level executives if they are to be effective, according to a leading regulatory lawyer.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a new paper following up feedback it provided in its consultation paper on improving the level of accountability in the banking sector.

The regulator has confirmed that chapter six of the report includes details of a consultation on rules requiring the certification of some individuals who are involved specifically in areas which fall under wholesale market activities, such as trading.

According to the FCA, it is hoped the framework would hold individuals working across different levels in financial services firms to appropriate standards of conduct.

Comments are being requested by September 7th 2015 and firms have been advised to be ready for the changes to come into force by March 7th 2016.

Sarah Wallace, a Partner and expert in regulatory investigations related to financial services, said: “These new changes are of course part of wider efforts to improve the accountability of financial services firms following the crisis in this sector.

“While the changes would mean individuals may be singled out for responsibility, it remains important that senior executives engage in the changes to ensure that organisations can comply with the new rules.”

Employment experts at Irwin Mitchell have also warned that the changes in the accountability regime will present real challenges for businesses within the financial services sector.

Kirsty Ayre, a Partner and employment law specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The new rules represent a significant change for the sector, and many HR and compliance teams are being kept busy preparing for their implementation. 

“In addition to reviewing policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the new regime, there is also a significant training requirement as staff will need to be made fully aware of what is expected of them in the future.   

“As compliance and accountability become ever more important in banking, it is likely that we will see more disciplinary and performance issues linked to failures to comply with the regulatory regime in the future.”