The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) replaced the Approved Persons Regime, changing how people working in financial services are regulated.
The aim of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) is to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by making individuals more accountable for their conduct and competence.
The SM&CR is a catalyst for change - an opportunity to establish healthy cultures and effective governance in firms by encouraging greater individual accountability and setting a new standard of personal conduct.
As part of this, the SM&CR aims to:
- encourage a culture of staff at all levels taking personal responsibility for their actions
- make sure firms and staff clearly understand and can demonstrate where responsibility lies
Who it applies to
- Solo-regulated firms are those regulated by the FCA only. The SM&CR replaced the Approved Persons Regime from 9 December 2019.
- Dual-regulated insurers are those regulated by both the FCA and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The SM&CR replaced the revised version of our Approved Persons Regime and the PRA's Senior Insurance Managers Regime from 10 December 2018.
- The SM&CR has applied to UK banks, building societies, credit unions, branches of foreign banks operating in the UK and the largest investment firms regulated by the PRA and the FCA since 7 March 2016.
We have also applied the SM&CR to the FCA and published information about how we’ve done this.
Why regulations have changed
In response to the 2008 banking crisis and significant conduct failings such as the manipulation of LIBOR, Parliament set up the Parliamentary Commission for Banking Standards (PCBS) to recommend how to improve standards in the banking sector.
PCBS recommended a new accountability framework focused on senior management. It also recommended that firms take more responsibility for employees being fit and proper, and that there be better standards of conduct at all levels in banking firms.
Based on these recommendations, Parliament passed legislation in December 2013, leading to the FCA and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) applying the SM&CR to the banking sector from March 2016. Parliament made further changes to legislation in May 2016, requiring us to extend the regime to all FSMA authorised firms.