‘City Limits: FCA Compliance for Financial Businesses’ by James Brilliant


Paperback: 978-1-912687-17-6
Published: June 2019
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More than 56,000 financial businesses – from stockbrokers and independent financial advisers to portfolio managers and fund distributors – are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

These firms vary widely in the activities they carry on and the types of clients they serve. What they all have in common is an obligation to comply with a comprehensive and sometimes complex financial regulatory framework.

This user-friendly book is for lawyers, compliance professionals and senior managers tasked with advising on or overseeing regulatory compliance for FCA-authorised firms. It offers succinct synopses of bedrock topics within FCA compliance, together with practical suggestions for firms seeking to construct a systematic compliance programme.


James Brilliant is a financial services regulatory lawyer and partner in an international asset management firm.

He has held senior legal and compliance positions in the financial sector since 2012. Before that, he was in private practice at Fred Philpott’s chambers in Gough Square and then law firm Shearman & Sterling.


Chapter One – FCA Authorisation and Approval
1.1 The General Prohibition
1.2 Becoming Authorised
1.3 Approval of Persons Performing Controlled Functions for an Authorised Firm

Chapter Two – Regulatory Supervision
2.1 Supervisory Framework
2.2 Periodic Reporting to the FCA
2.3 Ad Hoc Notifications to the FCA
2.4 Annual Regulatory Fees

Chapter Three – Senior Management and Staff Conduct
3.1 Management Body
3.2 Approved Persons
3.3 Staff General Requirements

Chapter Four – Operational Infrastructure
4.1 Data Control
4.2 Outsourcing
4.3 Business Continuity
4.4 Record-Keeping

Chapter Five – Financial Controls
5.1 Capital Requirements
5.2 Financial Reporting
5.3 Client Assets

Chapter Six – Treating Customers Fairly
6.1 Conflicts of Interest
6.2 Client Categorisation
6.3 Suitability and Appropriateness
6.4 Information to Clients
6.5 Complaints

Chapter Seven – Marketing and Publicity
7.1 Product Governance
7.2 Communicating with Clients and Potential Clients
7.3 Promotion and Marketing of Fund Products
7.4 Websites and Emails

Chapter Eight – Trading Operations
8.1 Best Execution
8.2 Client Order Handling
8.3 Securities Trading Regimes
8.4 Algo/HFT

Chapter Nine – The Second and Third Lines of Defence
9.1 Compliance Oversight
9.2 Financial Crime Risk Oversight
9.3 Risk Control
9.4 Internal Audit

Chapter Ten – Key Components of a Compliance Work Programme
10.1 Regulatory Correspondence
10.2 Central Compliance
10.3 Staff Compliance
10.4 Business Processes
10.5 Compliance Monitoring