The UK’s main financial regulators granted some relief to busy regulated firms by declaring they would postpone any of their usual tasks in regulating firms to allow for total focus on getting through the COVID-19 pandemic and business continuity – this news came through according to the Financial Times on 20th March. This includes cancelling planned bank stress tests for 2020. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) confirmed its supervisory department would revise its plans and ignore non-critical data requests, cancel on-site visits and re-consider deadlines. Included in this is S.166 reviews (skilled person reports). It hopes to speed up the application process for those becoming senior managers, while IT systems resilience rules will not require comments or reports from the regulated until 1 October, and the rules on assessment of risk of credit default are pushed out until 1 January of 2022.
The Bank of England stated that it will allow supervisory engagement to focus on the most important matters relating to financial stability, the safety and soundness of firms, and protection of policyholders, including the impact of COVID-19.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed that it is not changing its policy on enforcement and will process authorisations as quickly as it can.