The Financial Conduct Authority is the UK’s largest financial regulator. It has to adapt to European Union legislation, which drives many new policies including the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) that aims to harmonise the regulation of alternative investment funds and of their fund managers, throughout the EU.
AMIFD is a complex legislative requirement affecting 1,600 financial services firms. The deadlines to enact the regulations, determined by legislation in Europe and UK, were extremely challenging. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had to design and build an operable solution within a short, fixed timeframe under scrutiny from Parliament and the financial services industry.
This complex requirement also changed as time went on and it became clear that adaptability would be an essential ingredient for success, both within the FCA business and Sopra Steria. We recognised from the outset that a collaborative, pragmatic and flexible approach was needed to ensure delivery of the right solution for both the FCA and industry stakeholders.
Our primary role was to provide application development services for key FCA regulatory systems.
Working in partnership with the FCA, we helped to translate the regulatory regime into solution requirements. It quickly determined that a portfolio of projects needed to be scoped and managed carefully, to succeed in the time and budget available. Consequently a what-if analysis’ of business and technology solutions was undertaken, with our consultants being instrumental in a series of planning workshops to determine the solution options. They developed an estimating tool to scope various scenarios, quickly providing the FCA with the information needed to select a practical solution.
Throughout the FCA change programme, our flexible engagement and commercial model supported the FCA’s delivery goals. This model allowed our team to progress a dynamic list of deliverables and functionality that was being developed by the FCA in real time. It enabled the FCA to retain control and avoid delays; Sopra Steria to remain responsive to changes and redirection; and for risks to both parties to be kept to acceptable levels. The project was an exemplary and successful collaboration, founded on trust and a strong team-working approach.
With our help of our solution, the FCA is now able to:
- Fully operate in line with the AIFMD requirement while focusing on the core purpose of regulating the financial services industry
- Record all regulatory decisions made
- Schedule submissions from 1,600 alternative investment firms
- Receive the reports required from these investment firms while charging appropriate fees