Financial Conduct Authority—fit and proper test
Financial Conduct Authority—fit and proper test

The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Financial Conduct Authority—fit and proper test
  • SM&CR and APER
  • FIT and FCA approval
  • What are the criteria for the fit and proper test?
  • Honesty, integrity and reputation
  • Convictions
  • Competence and capability
  • Financial soundness
  • Ongoing fitness and propriety
  • European Banking Authority guidelines


The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR), which applies to banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA-regulated broker dealers in the UK (relevant authorised persons or RAPs), came into force on 7 March 2016. HM Treasury announced in October 2015 that the SM&CR would be extended to all FSMA-authorised financial services institutions in 2018.

There are now therefore two regimes for obtaining FCA approval of officers and staff of firms regulated by the FCA:

  1. for firms which are subject to the SM&CR:

    1. certain management functions are specified as senior management functions (SMFs) either by the FCA (FCA SMFs) or the PRA (PRA SMFs)

    2. holders of SMFs (SMF holders) require pre-approval by the FCA (in the case of FCA SMFs) or by the PRA with the consent of the FCA (in the case of PRA SMFs)

    3. firms are required to vet candidates before putting them forward for approval as SMF holders, and

    4. firms are required to consider, at least once a year, whether there are any grounds on which a regulator could withdraw its approval of an SMF holder and if of the opinion that there are such grounds, to notify the relevant regulator

  2. for firms which are not subject to the SM&CR:

    1. certain functions are specified by the FCA