Friday, 15 March 2019 11:45

Leading law firm launches Senior Manager regime tool

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Clifford Chance website Clifford Chance website


Law firm Clifford Chance has unveiled SMCR Manager, a digital tool which will support the forthcoming SMCR compliance regime for firms FCA-regulated firms.

The controversial Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) will replace the Approved Persons Regime in December 2019 for FCA solo regulated firms including brokers, financial advisers, private equity firms, fund managers and investment managers.

Some critics have warned that the replacement of the Approved Persons Regime with the SMCR regime will mean poorer tracking and regulation of mainstream advisers although the FCA has responded in part by amending some plans. 

SMCR Manager is the first product to launch from Clifford Chance Applied Solutions, a new division at the law firm for digital products which launched in July 2018.

Chinwe Odimba-Chapman, a partner in Clifford Chance's Employment group, said the SMCR would mean a fundamental shift in the financial services sector and increase obligations on firms.

He said: "The aim of the SMCR is to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by making firms and individuals at those firms more accountable for their conduct and competence.

“From December, individuals in regulated firms will be subject to increased administrative and regulatory requirements and heightened expectations as to how they conduct themselves and they will need to be prepared."

SMCR Manager will enable senior managers to check if companies fall within the scope of the SMCR, identify whether they are considered 'enhanced' or 'core' firms and work through key SMCR requirements.

Jeroen Pink, chief executive of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions, added: "Becoming - let alone staying - compliant is a huge challenge. Increased regulation and regional variations make it complex, time consuming and arduous to tackle using traditional, labour-intensive approaches. With SMCR Manager, our legal teams and technology specialists work hand in hand to solve this complex challenge for our clients."

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