SimplyBiz has launched a support programme to help appointed representatives (ARs) and principal firms get to grips with the recent changes made to the AR regime by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Last year, the regulator introduced changes to the AR regime, which took effect on 8 December. Although the rules apply from that date, there are some transitional provisions around the new reporting requirements and annual assessments which give firms time to comply before the deadline of 28 November.
Jennifer Peaty, head of regulatory consultancy at SimplyBiz, said: “while the recent changes to the AR regime won’t affect the majority of firms, those who are impacted are likely to experience significant changes to the way in which they need to work. The requirement of an annual audit for all AR firms is one of the elements of the new rules which we believe will cause the most work for firms, and we believe this service will help to remove a burden from those affected.”
SimplyBiz’s support programme includes an audit guide and resource library, and will review and assess the effectiveness and robustness of an AR’s internal systems, controls, procedures, and reporting to the principal firm. The programme aims to help the principal firm establish that it is monitoring and managing the activities of its AR firms effectively, appropriately, and in line with the standards expected by the FCA.
“Vitally, I would remind firms of the deadline of 28 November this year by which they need to have completed this piece of work, and urge them to get moving as soon as possible.”