Related provisions for SUP 15.3.18

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To access the FCA Handbook Archive choose a date between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2004 (From field only).



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 all10credit 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.


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.





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


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.


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.

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: 11SUP 1A11 (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 4A10permission), SUP 7 (Individual requirements), SUP 8 (Waiver and modification of rules), SUP 9 (Individual guidance), 11SUP 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.


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's10 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's10 policy with respect to the imposition and amount of penalties under the Act (see DEPP 6).


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.10

The Enforcement Guide (EG)

The Enforcement Guide (EG) describes the FCA's10 approach to exercising the main enforcement powers given to it by the Act and by other legislation.2


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.


Table: This table belongs to COLL 6.3.2 G (2) (a) and COLL 6.3.3 R (Valuation)1.

Valuation and pricing


The valuation of scheme property


Where possible, investments should be valued using a reputable source. The reliability of the source of prices should be kept under regular review.


For some or all of the investments comprising the scheme property, different prices may quoted according to whether they are being bought (offer prices) or sold (bid prices). The valuation of a single-priced authorised fund should reflect the mid-market value of such investments. In the case of a dual-priced authorised fund, the issue basis of the valuation will be carried out by reference to the offer prices of investments and the cancellation basis by reference to the bid prices of those same investments. The prospectus should explain how investments will be valued for which a single price is quoted for both buying and selling.1



Schemes investing in approved money-market instruments5should value such instruments on an amortised cost basis on condition that:5


[Note:CESR's UCITS eligible assets guidelines with respect to article 4(2) of the UCITS eligible assets Directive]


Short-term money market funds may value approved money-market instruments on an amortised cost basis.7

[Note: paragraph 21 of CESR's guidelines on a common definition of European money market funds]7


Any part of the scheme property of an authorised fund that is not an investment should be valued at a fair value, but for immovables this is subject to COLL 5.6.20 R (3) (f) (Standing independent valuer and valuation).


For the purposes of (2) and (3), any fiscal charges, commissions, professional fees or other charges that were paid, or would be payable on acquiring or disposing of the investment or other part of the scheme property should, in the case of a single-priced authorised fund,2 be excluded from the value of an investment or other part of the scheme property. In the case of a dual-priced authorised fund, any such payments should be added to the issue basis of the valuation, or subtracted from the cancellation basis of the valuation, as appropriate. Alternatively, the prospectus of a dual-priced authorised fund may prescribe any other method of calculating unitprices that ensures an equivalent treatment of the effect of these payments.2


Where the authorised fund manager has reasonable grounds to believe that:

it should value an investment at a price which, in its opinion, reflects a fair and reasonable price for that investment (the fair value price);


The circumstances which may give rise to a fair value price being used include:

  • no recent trade in the security concerned; or
  • the occurrence of a significant event since the most recent closure of the market where the price of the security is taken.
In (b), a significant event is one that means the most recent price of a security or a basket of securities is materially different to the price that it is reasonably believed would exist at the valuation point had the relevant market been open.


In determining whether to use such a fair value price , the authorised fund manager should include in his consideration:


Where the authorised fund manager, the depositary or the standing independent valuer have reasonable grounds to believe that the most recent valuation of an immovable does not reflect the current value of that immovable, the authorised fund manager should consult and agree with the standing independent valuer a fair and reasonable value for the immovable.


The authorised fund manager should document the basis of valuation (including any fair value pricing policy) and, where appropriate, the basis of any methodology and ensure that the procedures are applied consistently and fairly.


Where a unit price is determined using properly applied fair value prices in accordance with policies in (8), subsequent information that indicates the price should have been different from that calculated will not normally give rise to an instance of incorrect pricing.


The pricing controls of the authorised fund manager


An authorised fund manager needs to be able to demonstrate that it has effective controls over its calculations of unit prices.


The controls referred to in (1) should ensure that:

  • asset prices are accurate and up to date;
  • investment 1transactions are accurately and promptly reflected in valuations;
  • the components of the valuation (including stock, cash, and units in issue1), are regularly reconciled to their source or prime records and any reconciling items resolved promptly and debtors reviewed for recoverability;
  • the sources of prices not obtained from the main pricing source are recorded and regularly reviewed;
  • compliance with the investment and borrowing powers is regularly reviewed;
  • dividends are accounted for as soon as securities1 are quoted ex-dividend (unless it is prudent to account for them on receipt):
  • fixed interest dividends, interest and expenses are accrued at each valuation point1;
  • tax positions are regularly reviewed and adjusted, if necessary;
  • reasonable tolerances are set for movements in the key elements of a valuation and movements outside these tolerances are investigated;5
  • the fund manager regularly reviews the portfolio valuation for accuracy5; and5
  • the valuation of OTC derivatives is accurate and up to date and in compliance with the methods agreed with the depositary.5


In exercising its pricing controls, the authorised fund manager may exercise reasonable discretion in determining the appropriate frequency of the operation of the controls and may choose a longer interval, if appropriate, given the level of activity on the authorised fund1or the materiality of any effect on the price.


Evidence of the exercise of the pricing controls should be retained.


Evidence of persistent or repetitive errors in relation to these matters, and in particular any evidence of a pattern of errors working in an authorised fund manager's favour, will make demonstrating effective controls more difficult.


Where the pricing1function is delegated to a third party, COLL 6.6.15 R (1) (Committees and delegation) will apply.


The depositary's review of the authorised fund manager's systems and controls


This section provides details of the types of checks a depositary should carry out to be satisfied that the authorised fund manager adopts systems and controls which are appropriate to ensure that prices of units are calculated in accordance with this section and to ensure that the likelihood of incorrect prices will be minimised. These checks also apply where an authorised fund manager has delegated all or some of its pricing1 functions to one or more third parties5.



A depositary should thoroughly review an authorised fund manager's systems and controls to confirm that they are satisfactory. The depositary's review should include an analysis of the controls in place to determine the extent to which reliance can be placed on them.


A review should be performed when the depositary is appointed and thereafter as it feels appropriate given its knowledge of the robustness and the stability of the systems and controls and their operation.


A review should be carried out more frequently where a depositary knows or suspects that an authorised fund manager's systems and controls are weak or are otherwise unsatisfactory.


Additionally, a depositary should from time to time review other aspects of the valuation of the scheme property of each authorised fund for which it is responsible, verifying, on a sample basis, if necessary, the assets, liabilities, accruals, units in issue1, securities prices (and in particular the prices of OTC derivatives,5unapproved securities and the basis for the valuation of unquoted securities) and any other relevant matters, for example an accumulation factor or a currency conversion factor.


A depositary should ensure that any issues, which are identified in any such review, are properly followed up and resolved.


The recording and reporting of instances of incorrect pricing


An authorised fund manager should record each instance where the price of a unit is incorrect as soon as the error is discovered, and report the fact to the depositary together with details of the action taken, or to be taken, to avoid repetition as soon as practicable.


In accordance with COLL 6.6.11 G (Duty to inform the FCA), the depositary should report any breach of the rules in COLL 6.3 immediately to the FCA. However, notification should relate to instances which the depositary considers material only.


A depositary should also report to the FCA immediately any instance of incorrect pricing1where the error is 0.5% or more of the price of a unit, where a depositary believes that reimbursement or payment is inappropriate and should not be paid by an authorised fund manager.


In accordance with SUP 16.6.8 R, a depositary should also make a return to the FCA on a quarterly basis which summarises the number of instances of incorrect pricing1 during a particular period.


The rectification of pricing breaches


COLL 6.6.3R(3)(c)10(Functions of the authorised fund manager) places a duty on the authorised fund manager to take action to reimburse affected unitholders, former unitholders, and the scheme itself, for instances of incorrect pricing1, except if it appears to the depositary that the breach is of minimal significance.


A depositary may consider that the instance of incorrect pricing1is of minimal significance if:


In determining (2), if the instance of incorrect pricing1 is due to one or more factors or exists over a period of time, each price should be considered separately.


If a depositary deems it appropriate, it may, in spite of the circumstances outlined in (2), require a payment from the authorised fund manager or from the authorised fund to the unitholders, former unitholders, the authorised fund or the authorised fund manager (where appropriate).


The depositary should satisfy itself that any payments required following an instance of incorrect pricing1 are accurately and promptly calculated and paid.


If a depositary considers that reimbursement or payment is inappropriate, it should report the matter to the FCA, together with its recommendation and justification. The depositary should take into account the need to avoid prejudice to the rights of unitholders, or the rights of unitholders in a class of units.


It may not be practicable, or in some cases legally permissible, for the authorised fund manager to obtain reimbursement from unitholders, where the unitholders have benefited from the incorrect price.


In all cases where reimbursement or payment is required, amounts due to be reimbursed to unitholders for individual sums which are reasonably considered by the authorised fund manager and depositary to be immaterial, need not normally be paid.