The FCA has published its Regulation round-up for August 2016. A hot topic for this month is the FCA’s thematic review on principals and their appointed representatives (ARs) in the general insurance (GI) sector. Whilst this review focused on the GI sector, the FCA confirmed that the findings apply to all principals and encouraged firms with ARs to review the report and ensure they are meeting the FCA’s requirements including, for example, contractual agreements, monitoring and suitability.

Another hot topic from this month is the FCA’s alert to authorised firms regarding their responsibilities when accepting business from an unauthorised introducer. The FCA confirmed that an authorised firm which accepts business from an introducer must meet its regulatory requirements.

Other highlights from the round-up include:

PPI complaint handling

The FCA issued its feedback statement and further consultation about payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints. The feedback statement confirmed that, overall, the package of proposals laid out by the FCA in CP15/39 should be taken forward. However, the FCA is also consulting further on some changes to the proposed rules and guidance on handling PPI complaints in light of the Supreme Court judgment in Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Ltd.

Credit card market study

The FCA published the findings of its credit card market study and set out a package of measures, including a series of industry-led proposals, to help consumers take better control of their spending. The report follows the interim report the FCA published last year. This report found that while competition worked fairly well for most consumers, the FCA had concerns about the scale of potentially problematic debt.

FCA’s reminder of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR)

The FCA has reminded firms that the reporting window for the FCA notification of Conduct Rule breaches, or Form H, opens on 1 September 2016 and will close on 31 October 2016. It covers the timeframe from 7 March 2016 to 31 August 2016. The FCA has confirmed that it is mandatory for firms to submit Form H, including nil returns.

Occasional Paper No. 20: Can we predict which consumer credit users will suffer financial distress

The research was based on independent data from the Office of National Statistics and was compiled with the aim of taking a wider view on what is meant by ‘financial distress’, how it relates to an individual’s wellbeing and how easily this can be predicted. The FCA confirmed it will use the findings to inform its policy work on areas such as consumer credit.