Member Update 19th October
Written on 19/10/2018

IDD Changes from October 2018

FCA has revised their application process, once again stepping further into the field of complexity making professional advice on a new IFA FCA application effectively mandatory.  The new forms include a confirmation on CPD.

This requirement has also been picked up by providers when firms request a new agency.  

All firms and individuals doing general or term assurance work now need to comply with these new T&C rules.

Here is the detailed text

Please confirm your firm will meet the new CPD requirement set out in SYSC 28.2 (you will need to view the Handbook as at 01/10/18).

  • minimum of 15 hours of CPD per year for every staff that sell, advise on and transact insurance contracts for all types of insurance customers
  • Recording details of when and the types of CPD undertaken

you need to ensure that your CPD replicates this demand, and you must update BAT to keep in line with this requirement.

We will be checking this data on individual audits.

So perhaps indicate for “protection only advisers” it MUST be on BAT, and this will be checked quarterly

For IFAs, it will be reviewed at Audits?

BAT changes

I have changed it so now “Managers” are able to see the entire new business book.

There are several levels of BAT user – one for advisers, and another for directors and so on.  A recent FCA enquiry to one firm queried whether individual RIs had access to the required information that they need to see.  Of course they do within the BAT conventional set up, but we take regular enquiries from firms seeking to restrict views of some users in unique ways.  This should be treated with great care, within IFAC, because of the risk of falling on the wrong side of FCA minimum standards as defined above.  Restricting access for a junior adviser may be bad for your health.

Two articles caught my eye in last week’s Sunday Times.

They were alongside each other – one from an MP demanding more fines on banks for AML failures.

The other was a barrister who sued Natwest for wrongly reporting his housebuying as suspicious activity. 

You cannot win!

Compliance officials at Natwest have learnt a useful lesson: when purporting to shop a customer to the authorities, check first on whether he is an experienced litigator who might fight back.  The one they shopped was David Lonsdale, a London-based commercial barrister of 30 years’ standing.

David has won a court ruling that forced the bank to explain why it had named him in a money laundering suspicious activity report.  He told a High Court judge that being reported by his bank to the National Crime Agency was “the most bewildering episode of my life”.

In March last year, Natwest officials reported his banking affairs to the agency and it has now emerged that Mr Lonsdale, who also owns a public house and several other properties in London, was granted the right to see those files.

Banks are required under legislation covering the proceeds of crime and anti-terrorism to make suspicious activity reports to the NCA and other agencies. In its guidance, the agency says that the reports provide “valuable information of potential criminality”.  

In March 2017, Natwest officials froze one of Mr Lonsdale’s seven accounts with the bank for eight days while it made a report to the NCA.  Then Natwest closed the accounts.  If you keep your ear to the ground in business, and follow these newsletters, you’ll find this is quite common thing to do.

Mr Lonsdale sued Natwest, claiming breach of contract, breach of data protection legislation and defamation. As part of those proceedings, he said that he wanted access to the reports made to the NCA. Natwest asked the court to strike out his request.

In a decision, Karen Steyn, QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, backed Mr Lonsdale.

If it was easy then monkeys would be doing your job.  Telling Mr Lonsdale about the NCA report would amount to “tipping-off” argued the NatWest – leaving them open to charges that they had alerted a potential offender of an investigation. 

What happens next is unknown, because to have your bank accounts closed is potentially catastrophic, so it is open to Mr Lonsdale to sue for that.