The FCA said today that its consulting on proposals to introduce a Directory – a new public register for checking the details of key individuals working in financial services.
It will include information available through the FS Register, as well as information about a wider group of individuals. The FCA are seeking feedback on:
- which individuals to include on the Directory;
- what information we should publish about each person;
- when firms need to submit and update information about their employees.
It said its aim is to help protect consumers and firms by making it easier to check whether individuals work for an authorised firm.
Its proposals are designed to make the Directory user-friendly for consumers and firms. It will also draw on information published on the FS Register making it easier to search the FS Register.
Alongside the consultation paper, they have published a basic prototype version of the Directory.
Following the consultation, they will user test the design with firms and consumers to make sure it is user friendly.
These changes affect all authorised firms in scope of the SM&CR and their employees. This includes banking firms, insurers, other firms authorised to provide financial services under the FSMA, and appointed representatives (AR) acting as agent for FCA authorised firms.
Comments need to be with the FCA by 5 October 2018.
Tom McPhail, Head of Policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said “Investors need to be able to check up on financial advisers and firms, this is essential if they are to trust the industry and to avoid fraudsters. The original Financial Services Register was not particularly user-friendly or easy to navigate and didn’t work well for consumers. The FCA has listened to the industry about the importance of a directory of this nature and has responded.”