"Today is a day of note, not only due to the extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR), but also because the widespread extension of the regime to virtually all regulated UK Firms is a significant step forward in terms of the global convergence of individual accountability across financial services and insurance, hopefully helping to sure-up international financial markets on a macro level.
"Historical failures in the financial sector clearly led us to this point and to the launch of the SM&CR in the UK. However, recent failures, show there is still more to be done to achieve the FCA's strategic goal of consumer protection and the enhanced integrity of the U.K. financial system and so the launch of the SM&CR extension feels more like milestone in a longer journey, rather than the end destination when it comes to good conduct expectations.
"It is the first time since its inception that the UK Conduct regulator, the FCA, has a full suite of detailed rules and guidance to assess and monitor the conduct of Senior Managers, Individual and Firms.
"This is worthy of note given the number of regulatory investigation in progress, so this heralds a new dawn in how the regulator can approach its supervisory activities and this enhancement in its tools could lead to the FCA placing many more senior executives in the spot light.
"For those firms that genuinely operate with good consumer outcomes at the centre of their business, this simply represents an evolution in regulatory expectations. However, for those firms who place financial gains above good culture and conduct, today marks a significant heightening in the regulator's ability to hold individuals and firms to account."