The recent Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standard’s (PCBS) review of the UK banking sector, made a number of recommendations for changes to the regulatory structure. The FCA and PRA then published their proposed changes, the consultation for which closed on 31st October 2014.
On the 17th November 2014, the PCBS responded to the proposals, requesting clarification or adjustments to ensure that the measures are in line with their original intention.
Whilst the final details of the changes and the implementation timeline are not yet confirmed, the proposals have clearly been designed to ensure individual responsibility and accountability and will most likely include a new regulatory framework and increased sanctions.
Firms will certainly be required to undertake more comprehensive background screening on appointment, reinforced with the introduction of compulsory annual rechecks for many roles.
It is likely that an expanded number of roles will be overseen by the FCA and PRA (potentially including non-executive directors), with the employer taking on responsibility themselves for certifying other roles. The current codes of practice will be replaced by new conduct rules that will have a wider application to cover all employees (except those in pure ancillary functions).
In addition, many roles will be subject to compulsory Standard Disclosure level criminal record checks (through the Disclosure and Barring Service), with self-disclosure of criminal checks no longer permitted.
It would be prudent to start reviewing your employment screening program as soon as possible to ensure you are ready to incorporate the changes required under the new regime when they are confirmed imminently. Seek advice from experts to review and upgrade your screening policies with peace of mind that compliance obligations are being met.