The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the final rules on the Directory – a new public register that enables consumers, firms and other stakeholders to find information on key individuals working in financial services.

Publishing this information on a regular basis will empower customers to make sure they only deal with individuals whom an authorised firm has assessed as fit and proper, or otherwise suitable and those who have appropriate qualifications.

The Directory will enable firms to cross-check references, make their staff known to customers and make it more difficult for unsuitable individuals to operate in the UK market.

This information will also support the FCA, law enforcement, professional bodies and other regulators in monitoring the market, building intelligence and targeting interventions.

These changes will allow users to search information on:

  • all Directors and Senior Managers
  • all staff certified as fit and proper by their firm
  • other important individuals who undertake business with clients and require a qualification to do so

This information will be made public in a clear and easy to use format.

Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of Supervision – Retail and Authorisations at the FCA, said “The new Directory will help consumers to protect themselves from unauthorised individuals by clearly and easily identifying individuals who have been banned by the FCA. It will also help firms to understand the employment history of candidates when hiring.”

The final rules require firms to report timely and accurate information about their Directory Persons. Firms will need to take all necessary action to gather the required information and ensure its accuracy prior to submission.

Banking firms and insurers can start submitting data on Directory individuals using the FCA’s Connect system or the multi-entry facility around September 2019. All other firms can start submitting data as of 9 December 2019 following commencement of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) for solo-regulated firms.

The FCA will communicate additional information on what firms need to do, including the exact date when FCA systems will open for submissions from banking firms and Insurers at a later stage. Further information on the data submission process and deadlines may be found in PS19/7.

The Directory is expected to go live in March 2020.