For the roles affected:-
- references covering the candidate's employment history over the preceding six-year period must be sought;
- references must be obtained prior to appointment - in most cases no later than one month before the end of the application for regulator approval;
- there will be a continuing obligation to update any references provided on or after 7 March 2016 if the firm becomes aware of relevant information that means the reference is no longer accurate.
Disclosures required to be made in regulatory references under the new regime will only cover situations where a firm has concluded either that there has been a breach of conduct rules or that the candidate was not fit and proper to perform a function. This leaves open the grey area where an employee either resigns before an investigation or disciplinary process is completed, or where disciplinary issues have come to light but proceedings have not been concluded. Under FCA rules there is no regulatory requirement to reveal that an individual has resigned during the course of an investigation.