The regulator says the delay will give firms hit by the Coronavirus pandemic more time to make the changes they need.
The Treasury has agreed to the delay for solo-regulated firms - those regulated only by the FCA.
The FCA says that to ensure SM&CR deadlines remain consistent, and to provide extra time for firms that need it, it will consult on extending the deadline for the following requirements from 9 December to 31 March:
• the date the Conduct Rules come into force
• the deadline for submission of information about Directory Persons to the Register
• references in FCA rules to the deadline for assessing Certified Persons as fit and proper
The watchdog says to give regulated firms “certainty” it will consult alongside parliamentary process to allow it to finalise policy as soon as possible.
Senior managers must ensure that Conduct Rules training is effective, so that staff are aware of the Conduct Rules and understand how they apply to them in their jobs, says the FCA.
The FCA will produce further detailed information about its expectations.
The expectation overall is that firms should continue with their work on SMCR and if they can certify staff earlier than March, they should do so. The regulator also says firms should “not wait to remove staff who are not fit and proper from certified roles.”
Details of certified employees of solo firms will still start to be published from 9 December on the Financial Services Register.
The Certification Regime and reporting of Directory Persons do not apply to benchmark administrators so there is no change to the deadline for benchmark administrators.
Benchmark administrators have until December 2021 to train non-senior manager staff in the Conduct Rules.