There has been a 33% increase in the last year in the number of senior managers in financial services firms facing vetting interviews by the FCA, says Cleveland & Co, the boutique legal advisory business.
These ‘Significant Influence Function’ (SIF) interviews hit a five-year high of 183 in 2017 – up from 138 in 2016, and 145 in 2013.
The FCA can interview people applying for senior positions at financial services businesses, such as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Finance Officer, in order to assess whether they have the necessary skills, experience, and integrity in order to perform their role.
Cleveland & Co says that the increase in the number of SIF interviews being carried out by the FCA shows that the Authority is clamping down on individuals applying for senior positions at regulated firms.
Emma Cleveland, Managing Director of Cleveland & Co, says: “The jump in the number of interviews taking place shows that the FCA is setting the bar higher for senior managers if they want to lead financial services firms.”
“It is a ratcheting up of the FCA’s management of risk in the sector.”
Cleveland & Co also adds that an increasing number of interviews could cause a delay for new financial services firms aiming to be authorised, which could negatively affect the competitiveness of the UK’s financial services industry.
Emma Cleveland continues: “We hope that the higher numbers of interviews being carried out does not add too much delay to the already lengthy process for new businesses to achieve authorisation by the FCA.”