SMCR stands for ‘Senior Managers and Certification Regime’.
Senior Managers and Certification Regime was set up in response to the 2008 financial crisis. One of the recommendations from the PCBS (Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards), SMCR was implemented by the FCA and the Bank of England’s PRA (Prudential Regulatory Authority) to ‘consider and report on professional standards and culture of the UK banking sector’.
SMCR regulations have been in force for banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA-designated investment firms since 2016. Parliament wanted to replace the APER (UK Approved Persons Regime) with something more focused on firms’ Senior Managers and individual responsibility, and SMCR will replace APER in its entirety. Dual-regulated insurers under the PRA have had to be compliant since December last year.
From 9 December 2019, Senior Managers and Certification Regime will expand to cover all solo-regulated financial services firms operating only under the FCA. These will be distinguished between Limited, Core or Enhanced scopes with increasing requirements for implementing SMCR within each. SMCR also comprises three regimes: Senior Managers, Certification and Conduct Rules. These have different requirements which we’ll describe in more detail further on.