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18 June 2021

Manchester-based B-Compliant is urging financial advisory firms to fully evidence their senior management applications, before submission, to avoid clogging up the system.

The financial compliance experts recommend reviewing pre-submission SMF applications, to ensure all checks have been made to confirm the information provided is correct.

Vicky Pearce, a director at B-Compliant, said: “The FCA can assess a complete SMF application quickly and without the need to seek additional information, but poorly or partially completed forms are inevitably kicked back. Each time a case officer has to reach out for extra detail, the clock stops and work on the matter ceases.

“The FCA is often criticised for taking too long to approve applications, but it is my contention that it cannot be held solely responsible. Form A must be completed in full and additional information attached to evidence due diligence and prove the candidate being put forward as a senior manager is fit and proper.”

B-Compliant recommends small, independent firms have their SMF forms assessed by an expert prior to submission. They need to ensure a standard DBS has been completed in the last three months and full regulatory references have been received for the last six years. They should also cross-check all evidence provided by the senior management candidate, making sure it is corroborated by independent sources.

Vicky added: “Spending hours on an SMF application may seem like unnecessary hassle, but failure to complete Form A correctly will only create more work in the long run. Why wait for an email to arrive giving you ten working days to provide information that should and could have been included at the outset?”

For more information about completing senior management applications, contact B-Compliant on (0161) 521 8641, visit: www.b-compliant.co.uk or follow the firm on Twitter, @b_compliant.

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