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Looking into the UK Senior Managers and Certification Regime & Enforcement Investigations

The UK Senior Managers and Certification Regime ("SMCR") has been in force for banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA-designated investment firms since March 2016 and was extended to cover all FCA solo-regulated financial services firms on 9 December 2019. The SMCR's overarching aim is to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by creating a system that enables firms and regulators to hold people to account and raising the standards of conduct for everyone working in financial services.

In this webinar with Gowling WLG, we explore SMCR compliance and the current hot topics relating to SMCR from both a regulatory and employment perspective:

  • SMCR in the context of climate change – the PRA published a supervisory statement in April 2019 which highlighted its expectations for Boards of PRA regulated firms to understand and assess the financial risks from climate change and for firms to allocate responsibility for identifying and managing financial risks from climate change to the relevant existing Senior Management Function ("SMF"). The FCA will soon be publishing its consultation paper for the asset management sector proposals for enhancing climate related financial disclosures which will also require firms to have effective governance and oversight arrangements in place.
  • Non-financial misconduct – with increasing cases in the news about individuals being prohibited from working in the financial services industry for non-financial misconduct, firms need to understand their obligations under the SMCR when dealing with non-financial misconduct.
  • Enforcement investigations – what does the FCA expect of senior management in an investigation, how to respond to employees under investigation, balancing the firm's interest with fairness to the employee under investigation.
  • Q&A Session

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Sushil Kuner is a London-based principal associate who advises on all aspects of financial services regulatory law, having spent eight years working within the Supervision and Enforcement Divisions of the FCA.

She has extensive regulatory experience and advises on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious financial services regulatory issues including anti-money laundering and anti-bribery controls, perimeter issues, conflicts of interest, suitability of investment advice/discretionary investment management decisions, conduct of business, e-commerce and payment services, consumer credit, mortgage regulation, financial promotions, treatment of customers, client asset rules, funds, market misconduct, product governance, corporate governance, personal culpability of senior individuals and conduct risk.

Sushil Kuner - Gowling WLG
Principal Associate, UK Financial Services Regulation

Ian Mason has more than 20 years' experience as a financial services regulatory lawyer providing advice on a broad range of matters, including FCA/PRA authorisation, supervision and enforcement. He is a former Head of Department in the Enforcement Division at the financial services regulator, as well as having worked in-house, and advising firms and individuals in private practice. He advises on a broad range of financial services regulatory issues, both non-contentious and contentious. He has significant experience in regulatory investigations, both in enforcement and on the defence side, representing firms and individuals such as CEOs, Heads of Compliance, MLROs and Heads of Trading.

Ian has significant expertise in advising on market abuse and financial crime issues, both in an enforcement and compliance context.

Ian Mason - Gowling WLG
Partner, Head of UK Financial Services Regulation and Joint Head of UK Financial Services Sector

Simon Stephen has 12 years' experience at Gowling WLG (returning in 2019), and four years' experience of working in the Employee Relations ("ER") team of a global financial institution he has a deep understanding of a client's viewpoint, including the need for practical guidance at an early stage in order to have control over risk, cost and commercial objectives.

Simon works across the whole range of employment issues from advising on and drafting contracts and TUPE clauses, collective consultation and managing high-profile, complex whistleblowing investigations and litigation. He also specialises in complex discrimination cases, advises on and negotiates severance agreements and advises on employees' and directors' contractual terms.

Simon Stephen - Gowling WLG
Legal Director