UK Finance, Britain’s trade association for banks in the country, has published the financial industry’s first major appraisal of the Senior Managers and Certifications Regime(SMCR). The requirements under SMCR were introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2016 as part of regulatory reforms following the 2007-09 financial crisis.
In the report, UK Finance claims Britain’s new system of banker accountability has led to a “tangible” improvement in culture. As such, the organization suggests the FCA consider introducing a leaner version of SMCR for smaller banks and building societies. This would alleviate the “disproportionate regulatory burden” these lenders will suffer from under a one-size-fits-all approach to compliance, UK Finance said.
The group made other suggestions to the FCA as well, such as replacing the demand for continual reporting of bank employee roles and responsibilities with less burdensome semi-annual or annual updates. And UK Finance said senior managers should have the right to access their records in the event of a regulatory investigation after they have left a bank.
The FCA has said there is still work to do in measuring the success of a cultural transition in Britain’s banking world. And Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley was the first to be penalized under the SMCR last year. He was fined $1.4 million for trying to identify a whistleblower who had sent letters criticizing a bank employee.