Lawyers have raised concerns the FCA is not monitoring its use of attestations among small firms.
An attestation is written confirmation by a senior individual that a firm is meeting certain regulatory requirements, usually following a thematic review or supervisory action. The aim is to ensure the firm can be held accountable if the problems arise again.
Earlier this month, Money Marketing revealed lawyers had seen a big increase in attestations in the past six months.
In response to a Freedom of Information request from Money Marketing, the FCA says it does not track the number of attestations for C3 and C4 firms – the smallest type. It says it is “developing a method of tracking this information”.
Among C1 and C2 firms, it has requested 186 attestations since it began using them in 2012.
The FCA’s response to the annual reports of its independent panels, published last week, shows its smaller business panel “has asked us to check the proportionality of our increasing use of attestations” and ensure there are “proper controls” around their use.
Pinsent Masons senior associate Michael Ruck says: “It is concerning that, two years on, attestations are not being properly monitored, meaning they may be being used disproportionately.”
An FCA spokeswoman says: “We are in the process of strengthening our governance processes around attestations and improving the way we track attestations for all firms.”