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We’re currently going through yet another period of regulatory and legislative changes – the extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) to name but a few.

Notwithstanding firms actually implementing the new requirements, a good process to engage with industry, fully consulting where possible, and providing firms with guidance are crucial elements to ensure any changes are embedded properly.

It does not however appear that we will get this in a number of areas.  The GDPR bill was only laid before Parliament last month and the Information Commissioner’s Office continues to issue final guidance.  Clarification on how GDPR interacts with existing regulatory obligations is much needed.  But the FCA has been silent on its approach since we flagged this in March.  Whether this will come in good time before the May implementation deadline is yet to be seen.

There seems to be an equal rush with the IDD.  A number of erratic and disjointed papers have been issued by the FCA on its implementation, resulting in consultations in name only.  Firm support appears to be lacking as requests for clarification are ignored.

On the positive side there seems to be openness in what the SM&CR regime will look like.  How appointed representatives are treated and the need to maintain a public register are the most impactful areas which the regulator will need to get right.  The tinkering with consumer credit permissions earlier this year now has a greater effect under the senior manager proposals as this could mean a new requirement for intermediaries to allocate a compliance oversight function.

With an inconsistent contact centre leaving firms having to pay to speak to their regulator through Live and Local events, AMI is working harder to provide firms with the support and guidance needed to understand these changes.

Aileen Lees
Senior Policy Adviser

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