FCA attestations: Top 5 things to consider

Key points that you will need to consider if you receive a request for an attestation from the FCA.
The FCA has issued 45 attestation requests over the past 12 months.  Over the last quarter there have been 8 (which makes it below average), but half of those have been in the investment management sector.  

An attestation is a supervisory tool which the FCA uses to escalate an issue and ensure that senior managers are clearly accountable for taking the actions that the FCA requires on specific issues.  They require personal commitment from a senior individual at the firm.

If you receive a request for an attestation there are a number of key points that you will need to consider: 

  1. Who is the right person to give the attestation on behalf of the firm?
  2. Can you give it in the format it is drafted?  To knowingly provide false information to the FCA would be, amongst other things, a Breach of Principle 11 (and a criminal offence).  If you cannot provide the attestation as drafted, then you will need to enter into early engagement with the FCA.  
  3. What work needs to be undertaken before the attestation can be given?
  4. What is your basis for believing it to be true?  Can you evidence that?  Inevitably questions as to what you knew before signing any attestation are likely to arise some months later.  Keeping a detailed record of the basis of your belief will be helpful.  
  5. Does your attestation contain future events?  If so, you will need to make sure there is an action plan in place to oversee the underlying issue and consider reporting any deviation from the originally created plan to the FCA.
If in doubt seek external legal advice.  

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.