FCA Continuing Professional Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic & Market Watch Newsletter
FCA Statement on Continuing Professional Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic
On May 27, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a new webpage that sets out its approach to individual’s continuing professional development (CPD) (the Webpage).
According to the Webpage, the FCA expects firms to demonstrate that individuals remain competent to carry out their work and that individuals should continue completing CPD during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the FCA notes that there could be exceptional circumstances when individuals may struggle to complete the required minimum CPD hours.
The FCA has therefore temporarily permitted firms in exceptional circumstances to let individuals carry over any uncompleted CPD hours before April 1, 2021 to the next CPD year. The FCA deems the following circumstances as exceptional:
when individuals are required to carry out extra duties to manage risks or to provide support to consumers and businesses, have caring responsibilities, and have difficulties accessing CPD material due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
where it is not realistic to expect the individual to also fulfill the CPD requirements.
Firms should record their decision and the reasons for it, but are not required to report this to the FCA.
The Webpage is available here.
FCA Publishes Market Watch Newsletter
On May 27, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published issue 63 of its Market Watch newsletter in relation to market conduct and transaction reporting issues (the Newsletter).
In the Newsletter, the FCA sets out its expectations around the identification and handling of inside information in light of increased capital raisings and working from home arrangements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCA notes that market participants should continue to comply with their obligations under the relevant regulations, including the Market Abuse Regulation. In particular, market participants should:
ensure that inside information continues to be appropriately identified and handled by all persons involved in the information chain;
ensure that inside information is appropriately disclosed by issuers so that investors are not misled;
maintain robust market surveillance and suspicious transaction and order reporting by relevant market participants, in the context of changes in market conditions and the current use of alternative working arrangements;
meet the transparency and short position covering requirements under the Short Selling Regulation; and
identify and manage conflicts of interest that may arise around capital raising events.
In the Newsletter, the FCA emphasizes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, it will continue to monitor inside information disclosures and price movements to identify any actions which may impact the integrity and orderly functioning of the market and, where necessary, the FCA may take enforcement action.
The Newsletter is available here.