Live from Unicorn Forum: Getting your regulatory house in order

“Do not underestimate this, it’s horrible!” You can always count on the ladies from FSTP to call a regulatory spade a spade…

But Julia Kirkland and Philippa Grocott from our SME compliance partners have a happy knack of making even the driest regulatory subject matter entertaining and informative.

And they achieved this again as they delivered two sessions on the hot topics in regulation at Unicorn’s Summer Client Forum at the O2 Continental in London.

In a mock interview, Philippa, playing the role of an FCA inspector, and Julia, in the guise of an ill-informed bank CEO, left delegates in no doubt as to the implications not being able to answer questions on their policies, procedures, systems and protocols around three large, topical pieces of regulation – the Senior Managers and Certification regimes, MiFID II and GDPR.

Yet as tongue-in-cheek as this scenario played out, the message was clear – all this is coming in 2018. You have to address it now!

Delegates were talked through the key focus areas to emerge from the FCA Business Plan 2017-18, both cross sector and specific to the specialist industry sectors of wholesale, investment management, pensions and retirement income, retail banking, retail investments and retail lending.

The expert pair then took it in turns to outline the key requirements, challenges and considerations around the Senior Managers and Certification regimes (Accountability 2), MiFID II and GDPR.

Some delegates had already been through Accountability 1, while others are amongst the 52,000 firms who still have that to look forward to in 2018. Some were already working through their MiFID II responsibilities while everybody was trying, or is going to have, to get a handle on the pervasiveness of GDPR and what it means for data collection and handling in their firm.

It was with regards to GDPR that Julia uttered the opening phrase of this blog!

So how much could YOUR senior managers articulate on these areas at the moment? And it’s not just your senior managers and Board members who need to be fully versed in all this either now. FSTP have anecdotes of visiting regulators walking through offices and asking individuals questions on the things that matter too – it really can be anybody at all levels in the spotlight.

Good systems will get you so far, but it is people who will keep you compliant and that is why training should be top of the agenda for the regulation(s) that affect your staff, yup including your senior managers and Board.

It was then over to Simon Mercer, ComplianceServe product manager, to explain how Unicorn were geared to support clients in each of these three regulatory areas, with new content coming online for GDPR and MiFID II later this summer.

Meanwhile updates to Senior Managers and Certification regimes titles is part of Unicorn’s ongoing content maintenance programme and includes updates to the conduct rules for firms impacted by Accountability 2.

Major new functionality to help firms aggregate ‘the need to know’ stuff on the SMR and Certification Regimes are also being introduced to the ComplianceServe platform before the end of 2017.

This includes Senior Management Functions and Prescribed Responsibilities, assigning functions and responsibilities, statements of responsibilities for SMF holders, defining and managing the criteria for competence, tracking individual progress against criteria and lots, lots more.

Regulation was just one item on the Unicorn Client Forum agenda, with employee engagement, cyber resilience, apps and content and LMS features also getting the ‘deep dive’ treatment.

More from the forum will be online tomorrow. Watch this space…

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