FCA rethinks attestations and is set to include quarterly data

The FCA is revising its guidance on attestations and plans to publish quarterly data on their use following repeated concerns over transparency and proportionality.

An attestation is a written confirmation that a firm is meeting certain regulatory requirements. They can take the form of a Dear CEO letter and are usually required by the chief executive but can also be required of other individuals holding a significant influence function such as directors or compliance officers.

In July, Mortgage Strategy’s sister title Money Marketing revealed concerns among regulatory experts that the FCA is not being transparent in the use of attestations. The regulator also does not track the number of attestations it requests from C3 and C4 firms – the smallest type.

Last week the FCA published an exchange of letters on attestations between FCA Practitioner Panel chairman and Nationwide chief executive Graham Beale and FCA director of supervision Clive Adamson.

In April, Beale wrote to Adamson to ask for clarification on the way in which attestations are used.

In a letter to Beale dated 22 August, Adamson says: “We will issue revised internal guidance and supporting materials. We are also changing the way we record and track attestations. Going forward, we are looking to publish data on attestations on a quarterly basis, similar to the information we publish on skilled person reviews.”