FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) compliance is mandatory for all businesses. Ensuring your business is compliant, and remains so, is a time-consuming task that many businesses find overwhelming. Hiring a professional consultant can be incredibly beneficial as they will guide your firm on how to meet all the necessary FCA requirements and how to properly document your records. Before you hire a specialist, you may wish to have a better understanding of FCA compliance in general, so below we break down a few general guidelines to help you get started.
- Communication structure
FCA compliance requires businesses to have effective communication channels in their organisations. An FCA regulator needs to understand how management decisions are conveyed to the rest of the staff. Evaluating the communication structure is part of evaluating compliance and according to the FCA, all elements, procedures, and policies are important in communication.
- Demonstration of management behaviour
Communication from individuals in management positions is beyond verbal or written as these individuals play an essential role in guiding the rest of the staff by their behaviour. Practices such as corporate governance and ethics are fundamentals of FCA compliance and must be carefully considered.
- Response from clients
Receiving feedback from clients is an asset for any business and how a company handles this information is important. Information from clients identifies shortcomings that ought to be addressed, such as failing to meet GDPR requirements, as well as guidance on how to enhance and improve customer experiences. According to the FCA, management should ensure client responses are collected and teach staff how to effectively respond to feedback.
- Staff training
New methods and practices, particularly concerning FCA compliance, may require training. Management should schedule regular training or workshops to keep their employees up-to-date on important information. Training is also essential to refresh the skills and knowledge of employees.
- Financial promotions
Issues with financial promotions will certainly receive negative attention from the FCA. The FCA requires that all financial promotions are clear and not misleading, this includes the promotion of loans, pensions and mortgages. As the FCA take a media-neutral stance, they expect that all financial promotions meet their marketing requirements.
- Record keeping
Besides records from financial promotions, keeping personnel and assessment records is also crucial as the FCA requires sufficient records to complete its supervisory tasks. These records should contain documents of training, recruitment, competence, and supervision. It is advised businesses keep their records for a minimum of five years before deleting or destroying any old files.
- Third party relations
A business should keep and store contracts and agreements of working with third party suppliers. Collecting intelligence before engaging with third-party suppliers is necessary as the degree of keenness is critical in compliance and regulation.
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