Related provisions for CREDS 7.1.1

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SYSC 4.1.1 R requires every firm, including a credit union, to have robust governance arrangements, which include a clear organisational structure with well-defined, transparent and consistent lines of responsibility, effective processes to identify, manage, monitor and report the risks it is or might be exposed to, and internal control mechanisms, including sound administrative and accounting procedures and effective control and safeguard arrangements for information processing
For credit unions, the arrangements, processes and mechanisms referred to in SYSC 4.1.1 R should be comprehensive and proportionate to the nature, scale, and complexity of the risks inherent in the business model and3 of the credit union's activities. That is the effect of SYSC 4.1.2 R and SYSC 4.1.2A G.
A credit union’s systems and controls should be proportionate to the nature, scale and complexity of the activities it undertakes. For instance, a 5small credit union5 will not usually 5be expected to have the same systems and controls as a large one, and a credit union offering only basic savings accounts and loans will not be expected to have the same systems and controls as one offering a wider range of services or more complicated products5.
A credit union must establish, maintain and implement an up-to-date business plan approved by its governing body5.5
A credit union must establish, maintain, and implement an up-to-date and fully documented policies and procedures manual5.5
A credit union must establish, maintain and implement a fully documented system of control.5
5If a credit union does not have an internal audit function, this may be relied on as tending to establish contravention of SYSC 4.1.1R (see CREDS 2.2.1G).
A credit union should ensure appropriate segregation of duties in order to minimise the risk of financial crime or contravention of requirements and standards under the regulatory system.
Under section 4(1) of, and Schedule 1 to, the Credit Unions Act 1979 or article 8(1) of, and Schedule 1 to, the Credit Unions (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, as appropriate1, a credit union is required to have a committee of management, managers or other officers, or a board of directors (a governing body)5. This body 5should be competent to control the affairs of a credit union, and have an appropriate range of skills and experience relevant to the activities carried on by the
In accordance with Statement of Principle 7 of the Statements of Principle for Approved Persons, it is the responsibility of each individual member of the governing body5 to understand, and ensure that the credit union complies with, the requirements of all the relevant Acts, secondary legislation and rules.
(1) The 5credit union'sgoverning body5has responsibility for ensuring that the credit union complies with the requirements of SYSC 4.1.1 R (see CREDS 2.2.1 G and CREDS 2.2.2 G). So, the governing body5 has overall responsibility for:(a) establishing objectives and formulating a business plan;(b) monitoring the financial position of the credit union;(c) determining and documenting policies and procedures;(d) directing and coordinating the work of all employees and volunteers, and
CREDS 2.2.12 G states that all credit unions should ensure appropriate segregation of duties. Duties should be segregated to prevent one individual from initiating, controlling, and processing a transaction (for example, both the approval and the payment of an invoice).
Responsibilities of connected persons (for example, relatives and other close relationships) should be kept entirely separate. They should not hold key posts at the same time as each other. Where this is unavoidable, a credit union should have a written policy for ensuring complete segregation of duties and responsibilities.
CREDS 2.2.8 R requires a credit union's system of control to be fully documented. The documentation helps the governing body5 to assess if systems are maintained and controls are operating effectively. It also helps those reviewing the systems to verify that the controls in place are those that have been authorised, and that they are adequate for their purpose.
(1) The governing body5 should decide what form this documentation should take, but the governing body5 should have in mind the following points.(a) Documents should be comprehensive: they should cover all material aspects of the operations of the credit union.(b) Documents should be integrated: separate elements of the system should be cross-referred so that the system can be viewed as a whole.(c) Documents should identify risks and the controls established to manage those risks.
The documentation of IT controls should be integrated within the overall documentation of a credit union's system of control.
SYSC 9.1.1 R requires that a credit union takes reasonable care to make and retain adequate records of all matters governed by the Act or the CCA, 4 secondary legislation under the Act or the CCA, 4 or rules (including accounting records). These records should be capable of being reproduced in the English language and on paper.
A credit union should have appropriate systems in place to fulfil its obligations with respect to adequacy, access, periods of retention, and security of records.
The main reasons why a credit union should maintain adequate accounting and other records are:(1) to provide the governing body5 with adequate financial and other information to enable it to conduct its business in a prudent manner on a day-to-day basis;(2) to safeguard the assets of the credit union and the interests of members and persons too young to be members; (3) to assist officers of the credit union to fulfil their regulatory and statutory duties in relation to the preparation
(1) Depending on the nature, scale and complexity of its business, it may be appropriate for a credit union to have a separate compliance function.(2) The organisation and responsibilities of a compliance function should be documented.(3) A compliance function should be staffed by an appropriate number of competent staff who are sufficiently independent to perform their duties objectively. It should be adequately resourced and should have unrestricted access to the credit union's
5A credit union must maintain information systems to enable the governing body to direct and control the credit union's business effectively, and to provide the information required by the FCA.
5The governing body must be satisfied that: (1) the information available is sufficiently comprehensive for the proper assessment of the potential risks for the credit union, and in order to determine its need for capital and liquidity; (2) the information available is sufficiently comprehensive to provide a clear statement of the performance and financial position of the credit union; (3) management information reports are prepared with sufficient frequency;(4) sufficient attention
A credit union should identify present and future staffing requirements (including volunteers and paid staff) and make appropriate plans for their recruitment and training.
Depending upon the scale and nature of the credit union's activities, it may be appropriate for the audit committee to delegate the task of monitoring the effectiveness and appropriateness of its systems and controls to an employee or other third party.
The purposes of an internal audit are:(1) to ensure that the policies and procedures of the credit union are followed;(2) to provide the governing body5 with a continuous appraisal of the overall effectiveness of the control systems, including proposed changes;(3) to recommend improvements where desirable or necessary;(4) to determine whether the internal controls established by the governing body5 are being maintained properly and operated as laid down in the policy, and comply
The internal audit function (see CREDS 2.2.11G) should develop an audit plan, covering all aspects of the credit union's business. The audit plan should identify the scope and frequency of work to be carried out in each area. Areas identified as higher risk should be covered more frequently. However, over a set timeframe (likely to be one year) all areas should be covered. Care should be taken to avoid obvious patterns in assessing the different areas of the credit union's business,
The internal audit work programme should include items such as:(1) verification of cash (counting and reconciliation) without prior notification;(2) bank reconciliation (checking records against bank statements);(3) verification of passbooks or account statements;(4) checking for compliance with policies and procedures;(5) checking for compliance with relevant Acts, secondary legislation and rules;(6) checking minutes and reports of the governing body5 and other sub-committees
The key elements of a satisfactory system of internal audit include the following:(1) Terms of reference. These should be specified with precision and include, amongst other things, scope and objectives of the audit committee and the internal audit function (see CREDS 2.2.11G), access to records, powers to obtain information and explanations for officers, and reporting requirements. These should be approved by the governing body5. (2) Risk analysis. Key risks in each area of the
CREDS 2.2.4 R requires that a credit union maintains a current business plan.
The governing body5should have a satisfactory planning system to provide a framework for growth and development of the credit union, and to enable it to identify, measure, manage and control risks of regulatory concern.
The planning system should be defined clearly, documented appropriately, and planning related tasks and decision-making responsibilities allocated clearly within the credit union.
The governing body5should consider the range of possible outcomes in relation to various risks. These risks are increased when a credit union provides ancillary services such as issuing and administering means of payment and money transmission, which result, in particular, in higher liquidity and operational risks.
CREDS 2.2.6 R requires that a credit union maintains a manual of its policies and procedures.
The policy and procedures manual should cover all aspects of the credit union's operations, including matters such as:(1) cash handling and disbursements;(2) collection procedures;(3) lending, (see CREDS 7.1 to CREDS 7.2)5;(4) arrears management (see CREDS 7.2.9 G to CREDS 7.2.10 G);(5) provisioning5;(6) liquidity management5;(7) financial risk management5;(8) money laundering prevention (see SYSC 6.3);(9) internal audit (see CREDS 2.2.40 G to CREDS 2.2.50 G);(10) information
A credit union should put in place contingency arrangements to ensure that it could continue to operate and meet its regulatory requirements in the event of an unforeseen interruption that may otherwise prevent the credit union from operating normally (for example, if there was a complete failure of IT systems or if the premises were destroyed by fire).
A credit union must provide the FCA, once a year, with a report in the format set out in CREDS 9 Annex 1 R (Credit Union complaints return) which contains (for the relevant reporting period) information about:(1) the total number of complaints received by the credit union;(2) (for the product/service groupings within section 5)3 the number of complaints closed by the credit union:(a) within eight weeks of receipt; and(b) more than eight weeks after receipt;(2A) (for other lending
A credit union must not include in the report a complaint that has been forwarded in its entirety to another respondent under DISP 1.7 (the complaints forwarding rules).
Where a credit union has forwarded to another respondent only part of a complaint or where two respondents may be jointly responsible for a complaint, then the complaint should be reported by both firms.
For the purposes of CREDS 9.2.4 R:(1) a complaint received on any day other than a business day, or after close of business on a business day, may be treated as received on the next business day; and(2) a complaint is resolved where the complainant has indicated acceptance of a response from the credit union, with neither the response nor acceptance having to be in writing.
For the purpose of CREDS 9.2.1 R, and upon completing the return, the credit union should note that:(1) where a complaint could fall into more than one category, the complaint should be recorded against the category that the credit union considers to form the main part of the complaint;(2) where a complaint has been upheld under CREDS 9.2.1R (3)(a), a credit union should report any complaints to which it has given a final response which accepts the complaint and, where appropriate,
For the purposes of making reports under CREDS 9.2.1 R, a closed complaint is a complaint:(1) where the credit union has sent a final response; or(2) where the complainant has positively indicated acceptance of the credit union's earlier response; or(3) where the complainant has failed to revert to the credit union within eight weeks of the credit union's most recent letter.
A report under this section must be given or addressed, and delivered, in the way set out in SUP 16.3.6 R to SUP 16.3.16 G (General provisions on reporting), except that, instead of the credit union's usual supervisory contact, the report must be given to or addressed for the attention of the Central Reporting team at the FCA.22
SUP 16.3.14 R applies to the credit unions' complaints returns.
The contact point in CREDS 9.2.1 R and CREDS 9.2.12 R can be by name or job title and may include, for example, a telephone number.
3A credit union must establish, maintain and implement an up-to-date lending policy statement approved by the governing body2that is prudent and appropriate to the scale and nature of its business2.
CREDS 2.2.6 R requires a credit union to maintain a manual of its policies and procedures. This should include the policy and procedure for making loans.
2The credit union’sgoverning body must review and approve its lending policy whenever there is a material change in the circumstances of the credit union or its membership or, in the absence of any such change, on an annual basis.
(1) A credit union must not make a loan to: (a) one of its officers2 or approved persons on terms more favourable than those available to other members of the credit union unless: (i) that person is a paid employee (other than a director) of the credit union; and (ii) the registered rules of the credit union provide explicitly for the making of loans to paid employees on such terms; (b) (in the case of a Great Britain credit union) 1a relative of, or any person otherwise connected
(1) To prevent conflicts of interest, a credit union should have clear arrangements for dealing with loans to the persons specified in CREDS 7.2.7 R.(2) In relation to staff, the prohibition in CREDS 7.2.7 R applies only to those who are officers2 or approved persons.(3) "Connected" in CREDS 7.2.7 R includes any close business or personal relationship.
A credit union should have a documented arrears management policy, setting out the procedures and process for dealing with borrowers who fall into arrears. This should be reviewed regularly and promptly in the light of experience.
A credit union should have a clear, robust and effective approach to handling arrears and be able to satisfy the FCA2 on a continuing basis that it has adequate management and control systems in place to monitor arrears.
(1) A credit union may make a loan to a member for a business purpose. However, this does not mean that a credit union may make a loan to a member who merely intends to transmit that loan to another body that will actually carry out the purpose.(2) A credit union should not make loans to members who are acting together to achieve an aggregate loan that exceeds the limits in the lending policy2.
1There is no restriction on the number of members who may jointly hold shares in a credit union.
A credit union must not accept deposits except:(1) by way of subscription for its shares from persons who may lawfully be admitted to membership of the credit union under the Credit Unions Act 1979 or the Credit Union (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (as appropriate) and the rules of the credit union; or(2) from persons too young to be members under any provision of the credit union’s rules or (for Northern Ireland credit unions) under article 15 of the Credit Unions (Northern Ireland)
Credit unions that provide CTFs should ensure that under their rules depositors under the age of 18 whose deposits are held within a CTF continue to be treated as juvenile depositors until the age of 18. This will provide for the fact that CTF account holders may not withdraw any money from the CTF until they reach the age of 18, in contrast with the position in relation to other deposits which become shares and may be withdrawn earlier.
CREDS 3A.2.2R and CREDS 3A.3.1R are intended to ensure that the liberalisation of credit union borrowing (CREDS 3A.3.2G) does not have the unintended effect of undermining the common bond concept by allowing credit unions to operate deposit accounts for natural persons who do not qualify for membership.
The purpose of this section is to set out further guidance relating to the approved persons regime that is specific to credit unions. Credit unions should also read Chapter 10 of the Supervision manual (SUP) concerning approved persons.
The effect of section 59 of the Act and SUP 10 is that a credit union must apply to the appropriate regulator for the approval of one or more individuals to perform the functions which are known as controlled functions. Controlled functions fall within two groups: (1) The significant influence functions describe the roles performed by the governing body and senior managers of the firm who exert a significant influence over the regulated activities of the firm.(2) The customer
The complete list of all controlled functions is located in SUP 10.4.5 R. Guidance on those controlled functions most likely to be relevant to credit unions is provided below.
SUP 10.6: the governing functions: (1) SUP 10.6.4 R: the director function, This is the function of acting in the capacity of a director of a credit union.(2) SUP 10.6.8 R: the non-executive director function. It is unusual for a credit union to appoint non-executive directors as such. But this function would include membership of a credit union's supervisory committee and any other committee which scrutinises the approach of executive management, the credit union's performance,
SUP 10.7: the required functions: (1) [deleted]11(2) SUP 10.7.13 R: the money laundering reporting function. This is the function of acting in the capacity of the money laundering reporting officer of a credit union.
5SUP 10A.95: the significant management functions: This controlled function will only apply to the credit union if the function is not being performed by a member of the committee of management and the credit union has followed the guidance in 5SUP 10A.9.4 G5.
1This chapter applies to all credit unions.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide rules and guidance relating to senior management arrangements, systems and controls that are specific to credit unions.2
This chapter is also intended to remind credit unions that the Senior Management Arrangements, Systems and Controls sourcebook (SYSC) also contains a number of high level rules and guidance2 relating to senior management arrangements, systems and controls designed to have general application to all firms, including credit unions. SYSC 1, SYSC 4 to SYSC 10 and SYSC 212 apply to all credit unions in respect of the carrying on of their regulated activities and unregulated activities
The purposes of SYSC, which applies to all credit unions, are:(1) to encourage directors and senior managers to take appropriate practical responsibility for the arrangements that all firms must put in place on matters likely to be of interest to the FCA2 because they impinge on the FCA’s functions2 function under the Act;(2) to reinforce Principle 3, under which all firms must take reasonable care to organise and control their affairs responsibly and effectively with adequate
1This chapter applies to all credit unions.
This chapter sets out rules and guidance for credit unions on completing reports concerning complaints received from eligible complainants. It replaces DISP 1.10 (Complaints reporting rules) and DISP 1.10A (Complaints data publication rules), which do not apply to credit unions (DISP 1.1.5A R).
The other elements of DISP 1 (DISP 1.2 (Consumer awareness rules), DISP 1.3 (Complaints handling rules), DISP 1.4 to DISP 1.8 (Complaints resolution rules etc.) and DISP 1.9 (Complaints record rule)) apply to credit unions.
DISP 2 to DISP 4 (which cover jurisdiction and procedures of the Financial Ombudsman Service) and FEES 5 (which covers funding of the Financial Ombudsman Service) apply to credit unions.
(1) The Credit Unions sourcebook3, CREDS for short, is the specialist sourcebook for credit unions.3(2) [deleted]22
(1) CREDS covers only the requirements associated with a Part 4A permission to accept deposits. The Conduct of Business sourcebook (COBS) sets out additional requirements for credit unions that are CTF providers in relation to cash deposit CTFs.(2) Other permissions are covered elsewhere in the Handbook. So, for example, a credit union seeking a permission to undertake a regulated mortgage activity would need to comply with the requirements in the Mortgages and Home Finance: Conduct
4A credit union seeking a permission to undertake a credit-related regulated activity would need to comply with the requirements in the Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC).
CREDS sets out rules and guidance that are specific to credit unions. CREDS 10 refers to other more generally applicable provisions of the Handbook that are likely to be relevant to credit unions with Part 4A permission to accept deposits. For details of these provisions, we would expect credit unions to access the full text in the Handbook.
(1) This chapter seeks to protect the interests of credit unions' members in respect of loans to members under section 11 of the Credit Unions Act 1979 or article 28 of the Credit Unions (Northern Ireland) Order 19852. Principle 4 requires credit unions to maintain adequate financial resources3.(2) [deleted]3
The rules and guidance in this chapter are in addition to the provisions of (in relation to Great Britain credit unions)2section 11 of the Credit Unions Act 1979 and (in relation to Northern Ireland credit unions) article 28 of the Credit Unions (Northern Ireland) Order 19852 in relation to loans made by credit unions. Under these provisions (1) a Great Britain credit union may make a loan only to:22(a) a member of the credit union who is an individual; and(b) a corporate member
1A credit union must not borrow from a natural person, except by way of a subordinated loan qualifying as capital under PRA rules.
CREDS 3A.3.1R does not apply to borrowing from a body corporate. A loan made to a credit union by a body corporate can either be a subordinated loan (providing regulatory capital within PRA rules) or a senior loan (providing ordinary funding, but not constituting regulatory capital).
1A credit union must at all times maintain in force a policy of insurance that complies with the requirements in part 2.10 of the Credit Unions Rulebook Part of the PRA Rulebook.
The policy of insurance required by CREDS 3A.4.1R is intended to protect the credit union from loss suffered or liability incurred by reason of the fraud or other dishonesty of any of its officers or employees.
A credit union must ensure that the governing body reports to the members at the annual general meeting of the credit union on whether the credit union has maintained at all times the policy of insurance required by CREDS 3A.4.1R.
1This section applies to all credit unions.
The purpose of this section is to provide additional rules and guidance relating to reporting requirements that are specific to credit unions. Credit unions also need to comply with the relevant provisions of SUP relating to reporting, including SUP 16.3 and SUP 16.12.
1This chapter applies to all credit unions
The purpose of this chapter is to provide conduct rules and guidance on credit unions’ holding of shares and deposits, joint accounts, borrowings and insurance cover.
(1) Every credit union (except a Northern Ireland credit union) 3must send to the FCA3 a copy of its audited accounts published in accordance with section 82 of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 20143.1(2) The accounts must: (a) be made up for the period beginning with the date of the credit union's registration or with the date to which the credit union's last annual accounts were made up, whichever is the later, and ending on the credit union's most recent
Every credit union must make available, 3free of charge, to every member or person interested in the funds of the credit union who applies for it, a copy of the latest audited accounts of the credit union sent to the FCA3 under CREDS 8.2.6 R.
14The complaints reporting rules and the complaints data publication rules do not apply to a credit union.
CREDS 9 sets out rules for credit unions in relation to reporting complaints.1414
14In relation to a credit union, the nature, scale and complexity of the credit union's business should be taken into account when deciding the appropriate procedures to put in place for dealing with complaints.
(1) 1332In this sourcebook, the term electronic money issuer does not include credit institutions, credit unions or municipal banks (which will be carrying on a regulated activity if they issue electronic money and will be covered by this sourcebook as firms in those circumstances), but it does include small electronic money institutions and persons who meet the conditions set out in regulation 75(1) or regulation 76(1) of the Electronic Money Regulations.(2) Although electronic
SUP 12.7.1ARRP
(1) A firm other than:99(a) a credit union; or9(b) a firm which intends to appoint, or has appointed, an appointed representative to carry on only credit-related regulated activity;9must submit the form in SUP 12 Annex 3 online 9at using the FCA'sONA10system.10(2) A credit union or a firm which intends to appoint, or has appointed, an appointed representative to carry on only credit-related regulated activity9must submit the form in SUP 12 Annex 3 R in the
SUP 12.7.8ARRP
(1) 8Subject to (2A), a 9firm other than a credit union must submit the form as set out in SUP 12 Annex 4 R online at using the FCA'sONA10system.910(2) A credit union must submit the form in SUP 12 Annex 4 R in the way set out in SUP 15.7.4 R to SUP 15.7.9 G (Form and method of notification).(2A) If the notification:9(a) relates to an appointed representative whose scope of appointment covers only credit-related regulated activity; or9(b) is of a change to
SUP 12.7.10GRP
8If the FCA's information technology systems fail and online submission is unavailable for 24 hours or more, the FCA will endeavour to publish a notice on its website confirming that online submission is unavailable and that firms, other than credit unions, should use the alternative methods of submission set out in SUP 12.7.1AR (3) and SUP 12.7.8AR (3) (as appropriate), and SUP 15.7.4 R to SUP 15.7.9 G, addressing applications for the attention of the Individuals and Mutuals
CREDS 10.1.1RP
1This chapter applies to all credit unions.
CREDS 10.1.2RP
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
CREDS 10.1.3RP
ModuleRelevance to Credit UnionsThe 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 all9credit 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.99999Senior Management
The capital resources requirement for a firm (other than a credit union) carrying on regulated activities, including designated investment business, is the higher of:(1) the requirement which is applied by this chapter according to the activity or activities of the firm (treating the relevant rules as applying to the firm by disregarding its designated investment business); and(2) the financial resource requirement which is applied by the Interim Prudential sourcebook for investment
Unless any of the rules on capital resources for firms carrying on designated investment business, for credit unions or for social housing firms apply, the capital resources requirement for a firm varies according to the regulated activity or activities it carries on.
Electronic money is specified as an investment in article 74A of the Regulated Activities Order, but only when issued by:77(1) a full credit institution, a credit union or a municipal bank; or(2) a person deemed to have been granted authorisation under regulation 74 of the Electronic Money Regulations; or a person who falls within regulation 76(1) of the Electronic Money Regulations (see PERG 3A, Q30 and 31).The authorisation and registration requirements for any other person
Shares are defined in the Regulated Activities Order as shares or stock in a wide range of entities; that is, any body corporate wherever incorporated and unincorporated bodies formed under the law of a country other than the United Kingdom. They include deferred shares issued by building societies as well as transferable shares in industrial and provident societies, credit unions and equivalent EEA bodies. These shares are transferable and negotiable in a way similar to other
PERG 2.6.10GRP
The following are excluded from the specified investment category of shares. Shares or stock in all open-ended investment companies are excluded from being treated in this particular category (but see PERG 2.6.17 G). Exclusions from this category also apply to shares or stock in the share capital of certain mutuals or in equivalent EEA bodies. This takes out building society or credit union accounts and non-transferable shares in industrial and provident societies. These may nevertheless
PERG 2.6.27GRP
In accordance with article 61(3)(a) of the Regulated Activities Order, a regulated mortgage contract is a contract which, at the time it is entered into, satisfies the following conditions:(1) the contract is one where the lender provides credit to an individual or trustees (the "borrower");(2) the obligation of the borrower to repay is secured by a first legal charge on land (other than timeshare accommodation) in the United Kingdom; and(3) at least 40% of that land is used,