DPB Update Issue 13 – January 2020
New resources are now available to help your firm prepare for its next quality assurance monitoring visit and remain compliant with the Designated Professional (DPB) Investment Business Handbook.
In this issue:
Financial services is a heavily regulated area which may mean there are times when your firm might be unsure which services it can and cannot offer.
We’ve put together a set of new resources to help guide you and your firm through the common areas that we find firms are sometimes unsure about. We anticipate these will also provide you and your teams with practical guidance to help you prepare for your firm’s next quality assurance monitoring visit and to remain compliant with the requirements of the ICAEW DPB (Investment Business) Handbook.
Regulation deconstructed: a guide to regulated financial advice
This publication gives an insight into financial services regulation, and guidance on identifying suitable regulated financial advisers for your clients.
This new guide is full of practical information on the areas we often find firms need clarity about during our quality assurance monitoring reviews. It covers topics such as the basics of compliance, introductions to financial advisers, which insurance distribution activities can and cannot be offered and guidelines on commenting on financial advice. The format of the guide allows you to work through the potential issues your firm might come across and to create an action plan for each of these.
ICAEW's new Code of Ethics came into effect on 1 January 2020. It is based on the latest ethical code of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).
The main changes include
- New sections – called Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations or NOCLAR. These guide members and firms on what to do if they discover illegal acts by their client or employer, and when it is permissible under the Code to breach confidentiality and report the wrongdoing to outside authorities.
- A new structure - makes the Code easier to read and understand.
- Changes to the auditor independence rules – which now sit in part 4 of the Code. However, this will not be relevant to nearly all ICAEW member firms, because they are required to apply the Financial Reporting Council Ethical Standard, rather than the Code of Ethics independence provisions.
Regulatory changes and updates
The Disciplinary Committee Regulations now include a robust case management system to help deal with complaints more efficiently. The nature of complaints are now clarified for all parties at a much earlier stage of the disciplinary process at a case management hearing.
Significant changes have been introduced to the Disciplinary Bye-laws (DBLs). The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) has made these changes with the primary purpose of safeguarding the public interest and the clients of firms. Some of these key changes are:
- The introduction of a Code of Conduct for Complainants.
- The introduction of a fast-track disciplinary process for serious criminal conviction complaints.
- Changes to DBLs 4, 5 and 7 concerning respondents’ liability to disciplinary action and evidence in disciplinary proceedings.
- The introduction of settlement powers.
- Powers to enable disciplinary tribunals (in certain circumstances) to suspend a respondent’s membership, registration or practising certificate ahead of the main complaint hearing.
- The introduction of powers for the Investigation Committee to recall and reconsider complaints (in certain circumstances) that it has previously referred to the Disciplinary Committee.