The Financial Services Authority is rolling out a programme of workshops and follow-up visits as part of its supervision of small firms.
The ‘small firms regional assessment programme’ is part of the regulator’s plans to implement new ways to monitor and support small businesses. It will be akin to the ‘treating customers fairly’ initiative which also included assessments and visits.
From November this year companies will be subject to workshops and follow-up visits focusing on businesses’ RDA-readiness and how to improve systems and controls within companies.
The proposed improvements will examine the processes businesses use in identifying and subsequently reducing risks to both themselves and their clients and highlight the intrinsic link between good business practices and good regulatory practices.
The workshops will include one-to-one session offering the opportunity for the FSA to provide feedback on company practices and flag up any discrepancies in their procedures. Further to these workshops, new ‘regulatory reviews’ by the FSA will start in February of next year to ensure that businesses are supported in any changes that they are required to make.
Some companies are dubious about the impact these new assessments will have upon them, but after piloting the programme with 55 small businesses earlier this year, the FSA maintain that the scheme will bring entirely positive results, stating: “This is a way of us going about supervising small businesses…It is about giving small firms time with the FSA.”