The FCA this week has released additional guidance to solo-regulated firms submitting SMCR forms in respect of Senior Managers ahead of the implementation deadline of 9 December 2019.

Form K now available

Importantly, the FCA have clarified that firms must submit their Form K (Conversion Notification) by 23.59 on 24 November 2019. Failure to submit the form may mean a firm's Controlled Functions are withdrawn at commencement of the new regime and not mapped to Senior Management Functions. This means the firm would be in breach of regulatory requirements and the FCA may take action as a result.

The FCA had previously indicated in examples in their Guide to Solo-Regulated firms that the submission deadline was one week before commencement (i.e. by 2 December) and so firms should note this earlier date.

Form K itself has now also been published via its online submission system Connect.

What to do next

There are different requirements for different categories of firm, but all firms should now therefore be ensuring they are clear on:

  • where new Senior Manager approvals will be needed (i.e. for individuals are being approved for the first time), and for roles that don't auto-map, whether they need to submit a Form A (FCA guidance is that it takes 90 days for these to be processed);
  • where Senior Managers will be mapping across, that the firm has factored into its project plan the 24 November Form K deadline (where Form K is needed);
  • continuing to finalise Statements of Responsibility, and readiness on other SMCR workstreams, such as identification of certification staff, reasonable steps and conduct rules training.

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Please note this blog post was written by a Clifford Chance LLP employee. Clifford Chance LLP is the parent company of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions (CCAS). The content within this post does not constitute legal advice.