Tag Archive | accountability regime

New FCA Measures Continue to Support Firms’ Focus on Culture

In what has been a turbulent regulatory time, one thing has remained consistent throughout – the focus on culture change in the Financial Services sector. We are now six months into the new Senior Managers’ and Certification Regime, and the FCA has this week revealed plans to add more measures to further strengthen its success across the sector.

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It is reported that these new measures will continue to build on the regime’s focus on individual accountability, and clarify how firms are expected to view the roles of senior managers within their organisations. In support of the new regulations, the FCA is also set to publish a discussion paper about how those heading up the legal function in firms should be treated under the Senior Managers’ and Certification Regime.

Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the FCA, said: “Six months on and, in a great many cases, firms have made a substantial effort to get this right and embrace the importance of the key principles underlying the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, namely responsibility and accountability.”

Knowing who is responsible for what is critical for firms and regulators and we have seen genuine engagement on this from the Board down. – Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive, FCA

“Generally, we have observed that firms are taking their responsibilities seriously and have broadly got the regime right. But we recognise culture change takes time and there is still more to do. So we have to keep a watchful eye on the progress firms are making.”

Topics of responsibility, accountability and governance in financial services firms and their impact on conduct has been, and remains, a priority for the FCA with a focus on the most significant drivers of good or poor mindsets and behaviours. Ongoing focus around these new regulations is testament to the FCA’s determination to succeed in exacting cultural and behavioural change across the board – something that shows no sign of letting up.

The FCA has also confirmed to consult on a number of other areas in the coming months:

  • Guidance for Senior Managers on the ‘Duty of Responsibility’
  • A new requirement for UK branches of overseas banks to tell their UK based employees about the whistleblowing services offered by the FCA and the PRA
  • Extending the conduct rules to all non-executive directors of banks and insurers

Read more about the new Accountability Regime here.

Top 10 Highs Of Unicorn’s Record Year

Unicorn smashed through the £6m sales mark for the first time ever in the last financial year (2015-16), a new record in any 12-month period and £1m up on our previous financial year best. These are our top 10 highlights of our record-breaking year (in no particular order)…

White text on a pink backdrop 'Unicorn: A year in numbers'

1 SkillsServe ranked the World’s top LMS for financial services (again)

You’ve probably heard of Craig Weiss? He’s widely considered to be the most influential person in eLearning in the world. Every year Craig produces his Global Top 50 LMSs Report and for the second year running, in January 2016, our learning and performance platform, SkillsServe, was recognised as the world’s best in our field.

dean_collage_med2 Unicorns who completed The Big Issue Foundation ‘Big London Night Walk’…

…in addition to the number of other Unicorns who did amazing stuff supported by our Fundraising Team. This included Dean, Tai, Katrina and Simon all completing multiple distance and endurance running challenges raising money for The MS Society, Macmillan Cancer Support, Macmillan Caring Locally and The Samaritans, while Sam and Xiomara pounded the capital’s streets in the wee hours in their quest for The Big Issue Foundation.

3 Million+ course activities were completed on SkillsServe

Off the shelf courses, user-generated content and eCreator courses, CPD recording, Training and Competency (T&C), on-the-go learning and Apps, you name it and SkillsServe has probably helped the financial services industry achieve it.

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4 the position SkillsServe moved up to in the overall LMS global rankings

You know Craig Weiss’ LMS report we just mentioned? As well as maintaining top spot for financial services, SkillsServe also moved up a place overall from fifth in 2015 to fourth this year. In the report Craig said: “New User Interface, expansive features. I love that they have a CPD mobile app. Regulatory is strong which is a must since their target vertical is Financial Services. An overall, top tier performer.”

NSASECTOR_Logo_Col3D_CMYK(9) [Converted] [Converted]5 the number of key areas Unicorn was assessed to receive Service Excellence accreditation from the National Skills Academy for Financial Services

This means Unicorn has demonstrated its dedication to high-quality, professional customer service and commitment to consistent improvement in service and staff training. With Helpdesk now 11 strong, 4,000 more calls were dealt with last year compared to 2014. This is reflected in an SLA of over 95% between March 2015 and March 2016. Already in 2016 Helpdesk have dealt with more calls month-on-month than 2015. What does this mean? Quicker and more effective issue resolution for our clients and happy customers ☺

6 Million – the company’s sales for the first time ever

It was looking good at the end of the calendar year, when we reported sales exceeded £5.6m ($8.5m), but we are delighted to report continuing strong organic growth in our core business streams, culminating in sales crashing through the £6m for the first time.

logo_116ISO 27001 – our information security standards certified at the highest level again

We first received ISO certification in 2011, but 2015 saw Unicorn transition to the new ISO27001:2013 standard from the previous ISO27001:2005 benchmark. The new standard reflects the changing demands of IS security in the face of challenges that didn’t exist in 2005. To maintain ISO27001 certification requires monthly security audits and an annual British Standards Institution (BSI) assessment.

peterp_headshot8 where Unicorn Training CEO and founder, Peter Phillips, is ranked in the Top 10 of the UK’s most influential people in corporate eLearning

Now in its seventh year, the 2016 annual lists of the ‘Top 10’ most influential people in the corporate eLearning sector – in the World, North America, Europe, the UK and Asia-Pacific – saw Peter break into the top 10 for the first time ever as one of four debutants in the UK rankings.

9% higher knowledge retention in those trained via video games…

…according to a University of Colorado Denver Business School study (2010). This is a snippet from our 2016 White Paper ‘The Future of Game-based Learning’ (produced with our games partners, Amuzo). Games are still BIG news in learning and, in its first year, this partnership has helped clients, existing and prospective, really understand games aren’t just fun they’re effective and it’s mobile technology shaping this.

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10 (+1) the number of our commercial, trade and professional industry partners

These relationships are invaluable in underlining Unicorn’s long-standing position as the solutions provider trusted by the financial services industry. As regulation tightens, having our partners’ expertise in helping inform the direction of the learning and supporting the development of appropriate learning tools, makes Unicorn the only credible choice. A great example is the work we’re doing with FSTP and the BBA to develop ComplianceServe in response to the FCA’s Accountability Regime for banks, building societies, credit unions and designated investment firms.

BLOG: Why Now Isn’t Time To Get Comfy Over Accountability

whatschangingSMR and the Certification Regime have been here almost a month now, but if you think they don’t affect you think again…

For those who believe they are not currently affected by the SMR – don’t get too smug and comfortable.

That was the stark warning issued by financial services training specialists and our partners, FSTP, earlier this month as they reflected on the arrival of the new Senior Managers Regime (SMR) for Banks, Building Societies, Credit unions and Designated Investment Firms and SIMR for Solvency II Insurance firms in their ‘Executive Matters’ eNewsletter.

bankingframeworkFSTP expanded on how the regulators are now all about individual responsibility and accountability and everybody across Financial Services needs to prepare. Conduct risk remains top of the regulators’ agenda and dovetails neatly into the new dawn of individual accountability.

The message? It’s on the way to you too, and it looks like it will hit earlier than you think.

You know the drill by now. This new regime is designed to encourage individuals to take greater responsibility for their actions, and for firms to take full responsibility for the fitness and propriety of their staff, underpinned by a new set of Conduct Rules which set out the required standards of behaviour.

PPIIt’s never been more important to have the correct systems, training and controls in place to ensure every relevant member of staff conforms to the requirements. Staff must be competent to undertake their roles and understand their individual responsibilities.

As FSTP have stressed, even if you don’t think it impacts you now, it won’t be long before it does.

This is why Unicorn has been busy developing a number of new eLearning titles in partnership with FSTP, which have been added to our ComplianceServe library. And you can check out four short introductory videos, also included with each of the new eLearning titles, to get a flavour of what you need to think about.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about how ComplianceServe can help you meet your regulatory needs? Click here to visit the ComplianceServe mini-site.

Now here’s those vids…

Introduction To The New Banking Regime

The Certification Regime

Senior Managers Regime

Conduct Rules

News: ‘Landmark Financial Services Regulation Has Brought Clearer Training Focus’ Says Sector Expert

MJ_Colour_Cropped_medUnicorn Commercial Director, Mark Jones, believes the industry has seized the opportunity to “look at compliance in the context of cultural transformation” as landmark new Accountability regulation comes into force on Monday (7 March).

Mark insists the training industry’s response has been pivotal in firms preparing for the Accountability Regime, which includes a new Senior Managers Regime, Certification Regime and Code of Conduct, in an overhaul of the regulatory framework by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

As the new regulation around accountability comes into effect, being able to show clear lines of reporting, roles and responsibilities, and producing evidence of competency within the wider context of compliance is critical for regulated firms.

Mark thinks bringing a more targeted and streamlined approach to T&C and compliance for firms has helped them meet the Accountability deadline, while also providing a firm foundation from which to support them in meeting future regulatory deadlines.

Certification_Regime

He said: “Compliance should be treated as part of, not in isolation to, an individual’s career development plan, and we’ve seen a shift towards that as the Accountability Regime deadline has loomed.

“There continues to be a real demand for ‘snackable’ just-in-time and role relevant learning delivered online that not only embeds the core knowledge in line with the new FCA regulation amongst staff, but also heightens awareness of the implications of staff going off track in encouraging genuine behavioural change.

“New diagnostic tools, Apps and mobile learning, with on and offline syncing, video and role-specific scenarios are all critical elements in creating impactful personalised learning programmes that instantly connect a learner with their day-to-day job role, and embed the learning required for firms to meet all FCA regulatory demands.”

Unicorn’s comprehensive online compliance solution, ComplianceServe, provides firms with the means to reduce risk through relevant practical training designed to encourage the right behaviours.

ComplianceServe_pathway

ComplianceServe enables the deployment of content, monitoring, reporting and automatically assigning learning from its sector-leading content catalogue, CPD, creating role-based pathways and sending email reminders to effectively deliver the right learning through desktop or mobile device.

Meanwhile Unicorn’s partners, leading financial services consulting and training specialists, FSTP, continue to deliver complementary face-to-face training for more senior roles and/or those requiring highly complex and/or specialist knowledge.

Mark added: “The Accountability Regime leaves no hiding place in the FCA’s aims of raising standards and restoring public trust and confidence in the regulated sectors.

“The FCA has already proved it has no problem biting as hard as it barks, as many large fines and sanctions imposed on some of the world’s biggest financial institutions have shown.

“Only effective, robust training strategies will keep firms out of the FCA’s jaws and it is up to us to keep delivering the best solutions to help them.”

For more information about ComplianceServe visit www.unicorntraining.com/complianceserve

NEWS: Unicorn Training Announces Record Year

peterp_headshotUnicorn Training, one of the UK’s longest established and most respected online learning companies, has reported record sales and growth of a third in 2015.

Unicorn sales have exceeded £5.6m (US$8.5m), a 33% rise on 2014, in this calendar year, with more new customers won than ever before as well as the company achieving double-digit growth in recurrent revenue from a loyal customer base.

In 2015 Unicorn’s online learning and performance platform, SkillsServe, was ranked the world’s number one LMS for financial services and fifth overall, and Unicorn will be marking its record year on Stand P14 at the Learning Technologies 2016 conference and exhibition at Olympia on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 February.

Peter Phillips, Unicorn co-founder and CEO, said: “Over the past 12 months we have seen sustained growth in demand across all our main activities; platform, bespoke content development and our off-the-shelf compliance library.

“This is particularly true in our core sector, financial services, where demand for high quality regulatory and compliance training, together with increased awareness of the risks of cybercrime, are being driven by rigorous, new UK regulatory standards.”

Unicorn is uniquely positioned to offer turnkey solutions, combining SkillsServe’s sector-leading features with relevant and up-to-date content and outstanding instructional design, backed by long-standing partnerships with such industry bodies as the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the British Bankers Association (BBA).

In addition, having acquired a strategic stake in the world class games studio, Amuzo, at the end of last year, Unicorn is also able to meet the growing demand for mobile just-in-time learning, serious games and on-demand video content.

Peter added: “Looking ahead to 2016, I believe this robust and scalable business model will continue to generate strong growth in our core business.

“Add to this the exciting new opportunities opened up through our partnership with Amuzo and for a company whose purpose for over 25 years has been to provide great learning experiences through the innovative use of technology, these are exciting times.”

For more information about Unicorn Training visit www.unicorntraining.com and to come and see us at Learning Technologies 2016 register for free entry to the Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills 2016 exhibitions and seminars at www.learningtechnologies.co.uk

BLOG: Is It OK To Like ‘Blended Learning’ Again?

Being the cheerful sorts we are at Unicorn, we love a bit of good news!

FSTP_logo-2So we were beyond chuffed for our partners, FSTP, when they won the Debt Resolution Forum (DRF) and Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) ‘Business Partnership of the Year Award 2015’ last week!

Consumer Credit is just one area we are working with leading financial services consulting and training specialists FSTP on in bringing a more targeted and streamlined approach to compliance for FCA regulated firms. It’s always fab to have it recognised you’re working with the best of the best ☺

grocott_FSTPPhilippa Grocott, Partner at FSTP, has written a great piece about how, as a partnership, ourselves and FSTP are supporting clients with blended learning and why a blended solution is right for today’s financial service firms.

Through a worked example, she provides a case study of how FSTP helped a Learning and Development Manager from Bank X who required training on the new Individual Accountability Regime in Banking identify what needed to be studied by who, the best format for delivery (face to face or eLearning) and where their budget should be spent.

In the blog Philippa writes: “The blended approach has improved beyond expectations over time, and solutions, using both the classroom and virtual delivery methods, have rightly earned their place and are a must in any annual L&D programme for all organisations.”

It’s a must-read for any FCA regulated firm currently trying to get their head around how to best meet the demands of the new Accountability Framework before the March deadline.

You can check out the full blog here – Supporting Clients with Blended Learning

In December 2014 FSTP won the Thomson Reuters 2014 Best Compliance Consultancy Firm Award, voted for by FSTP clients. Meanwhile in January 2015 our learning and performance platform, SkillsServe, was ranked as the top LMS for the financial services sector, and fifth overall, in the Top 50 LMSs Report 2015. Congratulations again FSTP!