This includes guidance on maintaining "operational resilience" and what firms must do to remain compliant with their regulatory obligations. In summary, firms:
- Are expected to have contingency plans in place to deal with major events, and to have tested those plans. Contingency planning, such as putting steps in place to enable wide scale remote working, as has been necessary for many businesses in response to COVID-19, can minimise business interruptions for firms and customers alike.
- Should establish appropriate systems and controls and ensure they maintain appropriate records, for example where staff are working remotely or from home. Alongside the logistical issues of enabling staff to work remotely, firms will also need to consider their data protection, confidentiality and other professional obligations, and take appropriate steps to ensure they fulfil them.
- Should take reasonable steps to meet their regulatory obligations.
The message from the FCA seems clear that, notwithstanding these challenging times for firms, they are expected to continue to support customers, and maintain appropriate measures to ensure business continuity and regulatory compliance. The FCA has indicated that it is in discussions with firms and trade associations, and is keeping its guidance under review.
Firms should therefore be alert and responsive to any updates that follow.
For specialist legal advice, please contact Richard Phillips on 07803 295 150 or Emma Cameron on 07939 261 632 in our Corporate team, or complete the form below.