The SRA have confirmed that they will deliver a campaign of “proportionate enforcement action” against firms that fail to meet the deadline for appointing COLPs and COFAs, as required under the outcomes-focused regulatory regime.
If firms do not have both positions in place by 31 December they will be in breach of their licensing conditions.
The SRA has warned that several hundred firms will start the New Year in this position.
Several firms have nominated unsuitable individuals who would not be approved due to disciplinary and other significant issues.
More than 90 per cent of firms have been co-operative with the nominations process, but there were still a significant number that had failed either to complete the process or even start it.
The SRA have confirmed that once the 1 January deadline has passed they would take enforcement action against firms that have still not complied with the new regulations.
The vast majority of the firms the SRA was doing “intensive work” with in the run-up to the deadline were those with four partners or fewer.
The SRA currently has a large team working intensively over the Christmas period to help as many firms as possible meet the end-of-year deadline.
Several thousand approvals have been dispatched over the past week and more will be sent out over the coming days.
The regulator confirmed that those firms that it has not yet contacted but whose nomination was submitted before 31 July should take the view that ‘no news is good news’ and they would receive their approval before 31 December.