The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has finalised its conditions of a directory that will register “key individuals” working in financial services.

The directory will enable firms to cross-check references, make their staff known to customers and is intended to make it more difficult for unsuitable individuals to operate in the UK market. The directory is expected to go live in March 2020.

According to the FCA: “Publishing this information on a regular basis will empower customers to make sure they only deal with individuals whom an authorised firm has assessed as fit and proper, or otherwise suitable and those who have appropriate qualifications.”

These changes will allow users to search information on all directors and senior managers, all staff certified as by their firm, and further individuals who undertake business with clients and require a qualification to do so.

Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision for retail and authorisations at the FCA, said: “The new directory will help consumers to protect themselves from unauthorised individuals by clearly and easily identifying those who have been banned by the FCA. It will also help firms to understand the employment history of candidates when hiring.”

These changes affect all relevant individuals who carry out work on behalf of almost
every FCA-regulated financial services firm.

According to the FCA, banking firms and insurers can start submitting data on directory individuals using the FCA’s Connect system or the multi-entry facility around September 2019. All other firms can start submitting data as of 9 December 2019 following commencement of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) for solo-regulated firms.

The FCA will communicate additional information on what firms need to do, including the exact date when FCA systems will open for submissions from banking firms and insurers at a later stage.

The FCA began consultation on the creation of a directory in July last year.