Business managers globally are facing the dilemma of trying to decide if their business is ‘essential’ or not and whether they should stay open or not. At the same time firms, whichever country they are based in, have to consider how they protect their staff and customers and, if it is even possible to deliver the same level of service if all staff are working from home.
The FCA in the UK has given regulated firms some focus on these issues and the decisions that senior managers need to take by issuing an edict on the matter titled, “Work-related travel – responsibilities of Senior Managers”. Regulators in other jurisdictions have similar requirements.
The FCA sets outs its position firmly by stating, “We would like to make it clear to firms how they should prioritise who should need to travel to the office”. In typical FCA style they do not pull any punches in the main body of the statement either. We make no apology for quoting the relevant passage – it is significant; “Each firm’s designated Senior Manager or equivalent person is responsible for identifying which of their employees are unable to perform their jobs from home, and have to travel to the office or business continuity site. It goes on to say that it expects the total number of roles requiring ongoing presence in the office or business continuity site to be far smaller than the number of workers needed to ensure all of a firm’s business activities continue to function on a business as usual basis. The list of firms and functions the FCA expects to stop going into the workplace or meeting customers face to face is equally specific and demanding.
The Government isolating requirements, and the FCA focus on them, has presented firms with multiple challenges, not least maintaining compliance and regulatory oversight. Teams working from split locations have always presented specific challenges, but when those locations are multiplied by the number of staff the risk multiplies similarly. Senior managers need to recognise that none of the regulatory requirements have been ‘lifted’, their requirements under SMR remain with equal force today as they did last month!
Two of the Rockstead Group brands, Rockstead Review and Yabber Global have been working together to design and build solutions to support regulated firms at this time in all the jurisdictions we work in.
Watch out for some exciting announcements over the coming days, but in the meantime remember our teams are well set up to work remotely and are fully responsive via phone and email as usual. We have the technology in place to conduct our meetings online or via conference call.
Give us a call to see how we can help.