SMCR: waking up to individual accountability

Author: IFLR Correspondent | Published: 4 Feb 2019

By Jamie Symington, partner at Brown Rudnick

Will 2019 be the year when the UK's regulators' ambitions for individual accountability in financial services become real?

By the end of this year, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will finally have implemented the last stage in its transformational overhaul of regulation that aims to holds individuals – not just corporates – to account for wrongdoing in financial services firms. The Senior Manager and Certification Regime (SMCR) – already in place since 2016 for banks, insurers and large investment firms regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) – will be rolled out to all 47,000 firms 'solo-regulated' (regulated for both conduct and prudential requirements) by the FCA.

It has been a long-held ambition of the UK's financial services regulators to have such a regime in place, and it has been a long journey to get here. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, politicians, media...