This Code of Practice for Approved Persons is issued under section 64 of the Act (Conduct: statements and codes) for the purpose of helping to determine whether or not an approved person's conduct complies with a Statement of Principle. The code sets out descriptions of conduct which, in the FSA's opinion, do not comply with the relevant Statements of Principle. The code also sets out certain factors which, in the opinion of the FSA, are to be taken into account in determining whether an approved person's conduct complies with a particular Statement of Principle. The description of conduct, the factors and related provisions are identified in the text by the letter 'E' as explained in chapter 61 of the Reader'1s Guide.1
The significance of conduct identified in the Code of Practice for Approved Persons as tending to establish compliance with or a breach of a Statement of Principle will be assessed only after all the circumstances of a particular case have been considered. Account will be taken of the context in which a course of conduct was undertaken, including the precise circumstances of the individual case, the characteristics of the particular controlled function and the behaviour to be expected in that function.
An approved person will only be in breach of a Statement of Principle where he is personally culpable. Personal culpability arises where an approved person's conduct was deliberate or where the approved person's standard of conduct was below that which would be reasonable in all the circumstances (see DEPP 6.2.4 G (Action against approved persons under section 66 of the Act2)).2
The Code of Practice for Approved Persons (and in particular the specific examples of behaviour which may be in breach of a generic description of conduct in the code) is not exhaustive of the kind of conduct that may contravene the Statements of Principle. The purpose of the code is to help determine whether or not a person's conduct complies with a Statement of Principle. The code may be supplemented from time to time. The FSA will amend the code if there is a risk that unacceptable practice may become prevalent, so as to make clear what conduct falls below the standards expected of approved persons by the Statements of Principle.
Statements of Principle 1 to 4 apply to all approved persons. In the Statements of Principle and in the Code of Practice for Approved Persons, a reference to "his controlled function" is a reference to the controlled function to which the approval relates. A person performing a significant influence function is also subject to the additional requirements set out in Statements of Principle 5 to 7 in performing that controlled function. Those responsible under SYSC 2.1.3 R (Apportionment of responsibilities) for the firm's apportionment obligation will be specifically subject to Statement of Principle 5 (and see in particular APER 4.5.6 E). In addition, it will be the responsibility of any such approved person to oversee that the firm has appropriate systems and controls under Statement of Principle 7 (and see in particular APER 4.7.3 E).
In applying Statements of Principle 5 to 7, the nature, scale and complexity of the business under management and the role and responsibility of the individual performing a significant influence function within the firm will be relevant in assessing whether an approved person's conduct was reasonable. For example, the smaller and less complex the business, the less detailed and extensive the systems of control need to be. The FSA will be of the opinion that an individual performing a significant influence function may have breached Statements of Principle 5 to 7 only if his conduct was below the standard which would be reasonable in all the circumstances. (See also APER 3.3.1 E (3) to (5))
UK domestic firms listed on the London Stock Exchange are subject to the Combined Code developed by the Committee on Corporate Governance, whose internal control provisions are amplified in the Guidance for Directorsissued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. FSA-regulated firms in this category will thus be subject to that code as well as to the requirements and standards of the regulatory system. In forming an opinion whether approved persons have complied with its requirements, the FSA will give due credit for their following corresponding provisions in the Combined Codeand related guidance.