Before you appoint a representative, check if the applicant has a date of first appointment (DOFA), as this will determine if the applicant has time to comply with the fit and proper requirements.
A DOFA is the date on which one is first appointed as a representative of an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP) and registered on the central representative register of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
It is a fixed date. It does not change when a representative resigns from one FSP to join another or leaves the industry for a period of time. It also does not change if a representative registers later for more product categories.
The DOFA determines by when a representative needs to be fit and proper. This entails a supervised rep completing the Regulatory Examination RE5 within two years and meeting the qualification requirement within six years from DOFA date. It is worth noting that the other fit and proper requirements such as class of business training, product specific training, CPD and experience are not necessarily measured from the DOFA date. As our focus in this article is on the importance of the DOFA date, we will not discuss these any further.
As an example, Mr. A was appointed as a representative at ABC Brokers on 1 April 2014. He left the industry on 27 February 2015 before completing RE5 and applied at XYZ Brokers in August 2018 to be appointed as a representative. XYZ Brokers could not appoint him, as he had not completed RE5 by 30 June 2016 and the time period in which he had to meet the fit and proper requirements had lapsed.
When asking applicants for their DOFAs, some applicants, may not be aware that they were previously appointed as a representative and have a DOFA. To check if they have a DOFA, applicants can email the FSCA on email@example.com or give the FSP permission to request this on their behalf. The FSCA treats this information as confidential and will only disclose it to authorised third parties.
When confirmation of a DOFA is requested, the report will reflect the:
- Name and ID number of the person;
- Date on which the person was first appointed as a representative;
- Date on which the person was first appointed as Key Individual (if applicable);
- Category and the FSP at which the representative has been appointed;
- Product sub-categories for which the representative was appointed;
- Dates on which the person was registered for advice and/or intermediary services in the product sub-categories.
The FSCA will not change a DOFA unless the person can prove the information on the DOFA report is incorrect. This can be done by confirming in an affidavit that the information is wrong and including confirmation from the Key Individual of the FSP that the information regarding the person is incorrect on the DOFA report. The FSCA can also request any other information and will consider the facts before deciding whether to amend the DOFA.
Be sure to inform your employees if you register them as representatives and provide the date of registration and the categories and sub-categories for which they were registered. It is your employees’ responsibility to know the consequences of missing the deadlines to become fit and proper. It is the Key Individual’s responsibility to monitor and track the representative’s progress towards meeting the various competence requirements which are applicable and to ensure that these are met by the various deadline dates.
Attend Masthead’s Key Individual Responsibilities Seminar and be sure that as a Key Individual, you fully understand what it means to manage and oversee an FSP. Read more about this seminar