Business Risk Awareness - NE Results

We are pleased to report that the 3 clients that had face to face interviews and the 7 who completed online assessments have all been successful. They have been assessed as appropriately identifying and managing business risk.

The important part is all firms have to be able to demonstrate this and as per usual it’s down to record keeping and documenting decisions made. A large part of that is helped with the regular site visit reports you each receive, which form the backbone of your management information and are a tangible way to prove that all areas of the business is regularly reviewed and assessed. One of our clients, after completing the face to face assessment said he could now see why we spend the time on keeping the records and the reason behind all the registers and documentation. Some interesting common points to come out of these assessments, raised as advice by the FCA, were as follows:

Ø  A T&C scheme related to admin staff that mirrors the advisor scheme is recommended

Ø  IFA firms that hold themselves out as independent but do not offer advice in certain areas should reconsider being restricted

Ø  Role plays and Live observed visits should be completed on a regular basis to ensure advisers remain competent

Ø  Ensure regular reviews of a firms finance’s, in particular to capital adequacy, are carried out and evidence of these checks are recorded

The FCA will be carrying out verification visits to a small number of randomly selected firms to check that what they said in the interview or on-line assessment is actually in place and being used. That however will not happen until around May 2014

Obviously these assessments have been in the North East but the FCA is moving around the country. You will know they are in your area when you receive an email invitation to the Business Risk Awareness Workshop which is the first stage of the assessment process. The invite to a face to face interview, telephone interview or online assessment is the second stage and stage three will be onsite verification visits for a small number of firms.

Having been through the whole process with our clients in the North East it means we have built up the experience to help our other client’s in the rest of the UK when the time comes.  The key is follow the guidance and the record keeping that we suggest and you should then have no trouble in demonstrating this should the FCA come calling.

Congratulations to our clients assessed in the North East, for getting through the process successfully.

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