On 30 January 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published Primary Market Bulletin (PMB) No.10. The edition announces the publication of two new technical notes in the UKLA Knowledge Base relating to the FCA's new sponsor competence regime which took effect on 1 February 2015. Click here to read PMB No.10.

Background

In order to assist sponsors in complying with the FCA's new sponsor competence provisions in Listing Rule 8, the FCA proposed two new technical notes, which were published for consultation in its consultation paper 14/21. For background to the consultation which closed on 7 November 2014, click here to read our article.

New technical guidance

In PMB No. 10, the FCA sets out its feedback to the responses received during the consultation and announces the publication of the final notes in the UKLA Knowledge Base. We summarise the new technical notes below.

Guidance on the competence requirements set out under LR 8.6.7R(2)(b) (UKLA/TN/714.1)

The new technical note provides guidance to sponsors by explaining the types of skills, knowledge and expertise that the FCA expects a sponsor to consider when assessing its ability as a firm to demonstrate an understanding of each the new sponsor competency sets. Following consultation, the FCA has made some minor amendments to the draft version of the note. Click  here to read the note.

Practical implications of competence requirements for sponsors and applicants (UKLA/TN/715.1)

This technical note sets out a number of practical questions and answers to assist sponsors or applicants when considering whether the firm meets, or continues to meet, the rules requiring sponsors to be competent to provide sponsor services at all times. In particular, the note provides that the guidance will be relevant to existing sponsors when completing their annual notification form (Annual Notification Form) and to new applicants when completing an application form (New Applicant Form). In response to feedback received, the FCA has made some minor amendments to the draft version of the note in order to clarify its expectations. In particular, certain respondents wanted the ability to nominate an alternate key contact for the UKLA up front, rather than coming to the UKLA on an 'as and when' basis. In response to this feedback, the FCA has added some text into the technical note to clarify that a sponsor should notify the UKLA of an alternate key contact when they consider it appropriate. Click here to read the note. Amended Annual Notification Form and New Applicant Form

As a result of the new provisions on sponsor competence, the FCA has amended the Annual Notification Form to assist sponsors in their record-keeping obligations in relation to their competence. Consequential changes have also been made to the New Applicant Form.

The revised Annual Notification Form is effective from 1 February 2015 and should be used for all annual notifications submitted to the FCA in January 2016. The New Applicant Form should be used for any applications for sponsor approval on or after 1 February 2015.

What's pending?

The FCA is still considering certain feedback received on the consultations in PMB Nos. 7, 8 and 9 and intends to respond in the next edition of PMB. For background on these consultations, click on the links below to read our articles in previous editions of Corporate News.

PMB. No. 7PMB No. 8PMB No. 9