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CREDS 10.1 Application and purpose

Application

CREDS 10.1.1 R

1This chapter applies to all credit unions.

Purpose

CREDS 10.1.2 G

This chapter is intended to draw credit unions' attention to the application of other key parts of the Handbook to credit unions as set out in the table at CREDS 10.1.3 G. 3

Application of other parts of the Handbook and of Regulatory Guides to Credit Unions

CREDS 10.1.3 G

Module

Relevance to Credit Unions

The Principles for Businesses (PRIN)

The Principles for Businesses (PRIN) set out 3high-level requirements 3imposed by the FCA3. They provide a general statement of regulatory requirements. The Principles apply to all5credit unions. In applying the Principles to credit unions, the FCA3 will be mindful of proportionality. In practice, the implications are likely to vary according to the size and complexity 3of the credit union.

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Senior Management Arrangements, Systems and Controls (SYSC)

SYSC 1 ,3SYSC 4 to 10 and SYSC 213 apply to all credit unions in respect of the carrying on of their regulated activities and unregulated activities in a prudential context. SYSC 4.5 (Management responsibilities maps for relevant authorised persons), SYSC 4.7 (Senior management responsibilities for relevant authorised persons: allocation of responsibilities), SYSC 4.9 (Handover procedures and material), SYSC 5.2 (Certification regime) and SYSC 18 apply3 to all credit unions in respect of both their regulated activities and their unregulated activities3.

3Code of Conduct (COCON)

This contains rules and guidance that are directly applicable to a credit union’sSMF managers, certification employees and (from 2017) other conduct rules staff. There is also guidance for credit unions on giving their staff training about COCON.

Threshold Conditions (COND)

In order to become authorised under the Act all firms must meet the threshold conditions. The threshold conditions must be met on a continuing basis by credit unions. Failure to meet one of the conditions is sufficient grounds for the exercise by the FCA3 of its powers.

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The Fit and Proper test for Approved Persons (FIT)

The purpose of FIT is to set out and describe the criteria that a firm should3 consider when assessing the fitness and propriety of a person (1)3 in respect of whom an application is being made for approval to undertake a controlled function under the approved persons regime, (2)3 who has already been approved, (3) who is a certification employee or (4) whom a firm is considering appointing to be a certification employee3.

It also sets out and describes criteria that the FCA will consider when assessing the fitness and propriety of a candidate for a controlled function position and that it may consider when assessing the continuing fitness and propriety of approved persons.3

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General Provisions (GEN)

GEN contains rules and guidance on general matters, including interpreting the Handbook, statutory status disclosure, the FCA's3 logo and insurance against financial penalties.

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Fees manual (FEES)

This manual sets out the fees applying to credit unions.

3Prudential sourcebook for Mortgage and Home Finance Firms, and Insurance Intermediaries (MIPRU)

MIPRU applies to any credit union carrying out insurance mediation activity or home finance mediation activity, or using these services. In particular, it sets out requirements for allocation of responsibility for the credit union’sinsurance mediation activity (MIPRU 2), for the use of home finance intermediaries (MIPRU 5) and for professional indemnity insurance (MIPRU 3).

Conduct of Business sourcebook (COBS)

A credit union which acts as a CTF provider or provides a cash-deposit ISA will need to be aware of the relevant requirements in COBS. COBS 4.6 (Past, simulated past and future performance), COBS 4.7.1 R (Direct offer financial promotions), COBS 4.10 (Systems and controls and approving and communicating financial promotions), COBS 13 (Preparing product information) and COBS 14 (Providing product information to clients) apply with respect to accepting deposits as set out in those provisions, COBS 4.1 and BCOBS. A credit union that communicates with clients, including in a financial promotion, in relation to the promotion of deferred shares and credit union subordinated debt will need to be aware of the requirements of COBS 4.2 (Fair, clear and not misleading communications) and COBS 4.5 (Communicating with retail clients).4

3Insurance: Conduct of Business sourcebook (ICOBS)

ICOBS applies to any credit union carrying on non-investment insurance activities, such as arranging or advising on general insurance contracts to be taken out by members. But ICOBS does not apply to a credit union taking out an insurance policy for itself, such as a policy against default by members on their loans where the credit union is the beneficiary of the policy, since in this circumstance the credit union would not be acting as an insurance intermediary, but would itself be the customer. Credit unions are reminded that they are subject to the requirements of the appropriate legislation, including the Credit Unions Act 1979, relating to activities a credit union may carry on.

3Mortgages and Home Finance: Conduct of Business sourcebook (MCOB)

MCOB applies to any credit union that engages in any home finance activity. MCOB rules cover advising and selling standards, responsible lending (including affordability assessment), charges, and the fair treatment of customers in payment difficulties.

Banking: Conduct of Business sourcebook (BCOBS)

BCOBS sets out rules and guidance for credit unions on how they should conduct their business with their customers. In particular there are rules and guidance relating to communications with banking customers3and financial promotions (BCOBS 2), distance communications (BCOBS 3), information to be communicated to banking customers3(BCOBS 4), post sale requirements (BCOBS 5), and cancellation (BCOBS 6). 3The rules in BCOBS 3.1 that relate to distance contracts may apply 3to a credit union. This is because the Distance Marketing Directive3applies where there is "an organised distance sales or service-provision scheme run by the supplier" (Article 2(a)), i.e. if the credit union routinely sells any of its services by post, telephone, fax or the internet3.

Supervision manual (SUP)

The following provisions of SUP are relevant to credit unions: 6SUP 1A6 (The FCA’s 3 approach to supervision), SUP 2 (Information gathering by the FCA or PRA 3 on its own initiative), SUP 3.1 to SUP 3.8 (Auditors), SUP 5 (Skilled persons), SUP 6 (Applications to vary or cancel Part 4A5permission), SUP 7 (Individual requirements), SUP 8 (Waiver and modification of rules), SUP 9 (Individual guidance), 6SUP 10C (FCA senior management regime for approved persons in relevant authorised persons),3SUP 11 (Controllers and Close links), SUP 15 (Notifications to the FCA or PRA 3) and SUP 16 (Reporting Requirements).

Credit unions are reminded that they are subject to the requirements of the Act and SUP 11 on close links, and are bound to notify the FCA3 of changes. It may be unlikely, in practice, that credit unions will develop such relationships. It is possible, however, that a person may acquire close links with a 3credit union3 within the meaning of the Act by reason of holding the prescribed proportion of deferred shares in the credit union.

In relation to SUP 16, credit unions are exempted from the requirement to submit annual reports of 3close links.

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3Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC)

CONC contains rules that apply to firms carrying on credit-related regulated activities. PERG 2.7.19IG provides guidance on relevant exemptions. Most credit union lending is therefore outside the scope of CONC. However, subject to the constraints in the Credit Unions Act 1979 or the Credit Unions (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (as relevant), credit unions may undertake credit-related regulated activities to which CONC does apply if the activity is carried out by way of business. This could include lending under a borrower-lender-supplier agreement, or debt adjusting or debt counselling where the credit union is not the lender. A credit union carrying on such activities should consider whether it requires permission to do so. Further information can be found on the FCA’s website.

Decision, Procedure and Penalties manual (DEPP)

DEPP is relevant to credit unions because it sets out:

(1) the FCA's5 decision-making procedure for giving statutory notices. These are warning notices, decision notices and supervisory notices (DEPP 1.2 to DEPP 5); and

(2) the FCA's5 policy with respect to the imposition and amount of penalties under the Act (see DEPP 6).

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Dispute Resolution: Complaints (DISP)

DISP sets out rules and guidance in relation to treating complainants fairly and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Compensation (COMP)

COMP sets out rules relating to the scheme for compensating consumers when authorised firms are unable, or likely to be unable, to satisfy claims against them.5

The Enforcement Guide (EG)

The Enforcement Guide (EG) describes the FCA's5 approach to exercising the main enforcement powers given to it by the Act and by other legislation.2

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Financial crime: a guide for firms (FC)

FC provides guidance on steps that a firm can take to reduce the risk that it might be used to further financial crime.