The Financial Conduct Authority are making increasing use of the attestation process.
The FCA describes an attestation as follows:
‘Attestations are a supervisory tool used to ensure clear accountability and a focus from senior management on putting things right in regulated firms.’
Basically when the FCA require an attestation from a firm it is to gain personal commitment from an individual at the regulated firm that specific action has been taken or will be taken. It ensures clear accountability and a senior management focus on the issue concerned.
The FCA goes on to explain the most usual scenarios as follows:
- Notification − For emerging risks at firms that are unlikely to result in material harm to consumers or a negative impact on market integrity. We may ask an appropriate individual at a firm to attest that they will notify us if the risk changes in its nature, magnitude or extent. The responsibility on the person making the attestation is to ensure that the firm appropriately monitors the risk and makes any notifications that are appropriate to us.
- Undertaking − Where we want a firm to take specific action within a particular timescale, but the risk is unlikely to result in material harm to consumers or a negative impact on market integrity, we may ask for an attestation undertaking that the action will be taken.
- Self-certification − For more significant issues, but where we are confident the firm can resolve the issue itself, we may ask for an attestation that the risks have been mitigated or resolved.
- Verification − Where we want a firm to resolve issues or mitigate risks, and where we also want verification of that, we may ask for an attestation confirming that the action, including verification (e.g. by internal audit), has been done.
Attestations are being increasingly used by the FCA to ensure that identified problems are quickly and effectively resolved.
Prior to an individual making the attestation that the problem has been resolved, and all the personal responsibility and risk that this entails, many firms or individuals would wish for an independent review of the specific issue prior to being able to make the sign off.
Pragmatic can introduce you to a firm experienced in this area and who can provide quick and easy comfort that all is as it should be or, if not, what needs to be done to ameliorate the situation.
Contact us and we will make the introduction for a free initial consultation.