Update on the FSA’s work during the next phase of Covid-19 response
The Authority is continuing to progress its supervisory and outreach work remotely and is planning its ongoing work programme for 2020-21 at this time. In doing this we will continue to focus on key risk areas affecting sectors and particular risks facing individual firms.
When undertaking its work the Authority has a wide range of tools which we use to assess compliance with applicable requirements; some benefit from onsite access, others can be undertaken without physical access to a firm.
Further, whilst working remotely the Authority continues to have the ability to undertake Inspections (previously referred to, for some sectors, as Supervisory Visits).
Traditionally our programme of Inspections has involved a team visiting a firm’s office and reviewing paper and system based records; on a full inspection, focused inspection or sector wide thematic basis.
However, physical access to an office is not essential for a successful Inspection and we would expect firms to be mindful of prevailing government guidance in this regard. Indeed:
- In many cases, much of the Inspection information is already submitted to the Authority in advance. This information is submitted electronically or in hard copy and is normally reviewed prior to the Inspection.
- Meetings with staff of a firm can by undertaken by video and/ or tele conference.
- Other information which would normally be reviewed onsite can be sent to the Authority securely in electronic form for review.
As such, whilst we are currently working remotely, we can undertake focused and thematic Inspections where this is appropriate, recognising that timeframes may need to be modified to take account of the current circumstances.