FCA unveils new Senior Managers Regime

FCANon-Executive Directors (NEDs) with specific responsibilities, such as Chairman, will come under the new Senior Managers Regime (SMR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have confirmed.

Following a detailed consultation across industry and with stakeholders it was also decided the regime would not apply to those NEDs who do not perform delegated responsibilities.

Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the FCA, explained: “Our approach is driven by wanting to ensure firms are managed in a way that reflects good governance and promotes the right culture and behaviours. Having a narrow SMR will also allow the FCA to focus regulatory resources on those responsible for key business areas and board committees. We want those senior individuals to be held accountable for the decisions they make and oversee. This is what people inside and outside the banking sector expect.

“NEDs play a vital role in providing challenge to and an independent oversight of the executive directors. Including all NEDs in the new regime would risk the unintended consequence of changing the whole nature of this vital role.”

The NED roles that will be in scope of the SMR are:

  • Chairman;
  • Senior Independent Director;
  • and the Chairs of the Risk, Audit, Remuneration and Nominations Committees.

The individuals performing these roles will be subject to all aspects of the Senior Managers Regime, including regulatory pre-approval, the FCA’s and PRA’s new conduct rules and the presumption of responsibility. Those NEDs who fall outside of the SMR will no longer be subject to regulatory pre-approval, will not be subject to the conduct rules nor the presumption of responsibility.