Why UK Employers Need to Get SMCR Ready

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With the SMCR deadline looming, UK managers need to ensure that their staff members are not caught out. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is SMCR and Why Is It Important?

The SMCR, or Senior Managers and Certification Regime, is a regulatory body in the UK designed to encourage better conduct and increase accountability across financial services firms. It was launched by the Financial Conduct Authority, which oversees large investments and potential losses. The regime was introduced following the financial crisis of 2008, in which many senior managers refused to take responsibility for the huge losses of their clients. SMCR works to overcome these issues by training senior staff to be individually accountable for any large financial losses or potential risks.

The SMCR Deadline

The SMCR deadline, originally September 2020, was given a grace period due to the events of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the deadline — now set for March 31, 2021 — is once again fast approaching. In preparation for the deadline, employees who work in regulated finance and investment firms need to be fully compliant with the latest SMCR requirements. With less than three months to organize themselves, managers must make sure that all staff are up to speed with the latest regulations in order for their companies to continue being regulated firms in 2021.

Who Is Affected?

The firms requiring SMCR training include investment firms, insurance providers, consumer credit providers, banks, intermediaries, and many others. There are around 60,000 UK-based firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. An estimated 500,000 employees will need to be SMCR compliant before the March deadline. Once compliant, they will need a continuing professional development (CPD) certificate as proof.

How to Proceed

Regulated firms can hire external assistance from lawyers of compliance companies. Additionally, they can complete courses that are 100 percent online and offered by SMCRcompliance.com. The courses range from £30-45 depending on company size and other factors. The courses take around 30-45 minutes to complete. Employees undertaking the courses have the option to take their time, with the ability to pause, fast-forward, or rewind at their own pace. At the end of the course, there is a quiz which recaps the course content. Upon completion, employees will receive the necessary CPD certification.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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By Daniel Tannenbaum