A firm's systems and controls should enable it to satisfy itself of the suitability of anyone who acts for it. This includes assessing an individual's honesty and competence. This assessment should normally be made at the point of recruitment. An individual's honesty need not normally be revisited unless something happens to make a fresh look appropriate.
Any assessment of an individual's suitability should take into account the level of responsibility that the individual will assume within the firm. The nature of this assessment will generally differ depending upon whether it takes place at the start of the individual's recruitment, at the end of the probationary period (if there is one) or subsequently.
2If a firm requires employees who are not subject to an examination requirement in TC to pass a relevant examination from the list of recommended examinations maintained by the Financial Services Skills Council, the FSA will take that into account when assessing whether the firm has ensured that the employee satisfies the knowledge component of the competent employees rule.
The effective segregation of duties is an important element in the internal controls of a firm in the prudential context. In particular, it helps to ensure that no one individual is completely free to commit a firm's assets or incur liabilities on its behalf. Segregation can also help to ensure that a firm's governing body receives objective and accurate information on financial performance, the risks faced by the firm and the adequacy of its systems.
Where a common platform firm outsources its internal audit function, it should take reasonable steps to ensure that every individual involved in the performance of this service is independent from the individuals who perform its external audit. This should not prevent services from being undertaken by a firm's external auditors provided that:
the work is carried out under the supervision and management of the firm's own internal staff; and
potential conflicts of interest between the provision of external audit services and the provision of internal audit are properly managed.
The systems, internal control mechanisms and arrangements established by a firm in accordance with this chapter must take into account the nature, scale and complexity of its business and the nature and range of (for a common platform firm)3 investment services and activities or (for every other firm) financial services and activities 3undertaken in the course of that business.
article 5(1) final paragraph of the MiFID implementing Directive]
A common platform firm must monitor and, on a regular basis, evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of its systems, internal control mechanisms and arrangements established in accordance with this chapter, and take appropriate measures to address any deficiencies.
article 5(5) of the MiFID implementing Directive]