Bovill featured in the Financial Reporter

5 August 2019

19 investigations bring just one enforcement under new SMCR rules

Bovill’s founder and CEO, Ben Blackett-Ord, has been featured in the Financial Reporter discussing enforcements under SMCR. Despite the FCA pursuing 19 investigations under SMCR, so far there’s only been one successful enforcement action. SMCR was introduced two and a half years ago to bring culpable senior individuals in financial services to account for misconduct.

Our Freedom of Information Request reveals that 19 companies had been investigated. Of these, 10 investigations had been completed by the FCA, and nine firms remained under investigation.

Ben explains to the Financial Reporter that, “although the SMCR was meant to hold the feet of bosses to the fire, this appears far from easy”.

So far, just one individual, James Staley of Barclays Group, has been censured. SMCR currently applies to banks, building societies, credit unions and insurers, but in December this year the regime will extend across all FCA regulated firms.

Ben goes on to say, “The reality of the SMCR is that it is always going to be difficult to attribute the actions of a large firm to a single individual. With a run rate of one enforcement in 10 completed investigations, we must conclude that senior managers are able to demonstrate that they are taking reasonable steps to control the businesses for which they are responsible. With the burden of proof firmly on the FCA to show wrongdoing, it appears that the hurdle may be too high. We’ll wait and see what happens with the nine ongoing investigations”.

Read the full article here.

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