The client asset specialist unit (Client Asset Unit) was specifically created to provide confidence in the UK regulatory regime’s ability to deliver adequate protection of client money and safe custody assets (client assets); a critical component for a successful financial services industry. The Client Assets Sourcebook (CASS) in the FCA Handbook sets out the requirements with which firms must comply when holding or controlling client assets.
The FCA relies greatly on the quality of the protections afforded by the client assets regime because they help to ensure that clients’ assets and money are safe in the event of firms failing and exiting the market. Weaknesses in firms’ client asset systems and controls can cause serious financial detriment to customers and counterparties, as well as reputational damage to the FCA and UK markets.
The Client Asset Unit’s mission is to help minimise the risk of financial loss from control failings and mitigate the damaging effects of such potential failures on consumers, firms and the FCA.
Our Client Asset Unit has the following objectives:
- Increase firm awareness and compliance with CASS;
- Improve client asset risk identification, assessment and mitigation;
- Where the FCA’s remit permits seek to ensure that when firms exit the market, they do so in an orderly way which enables clients to either:
- Continue their agreements or transfer these to another provider or counterparty, or;
- Retrieve or recover their assets as soon as reasonably practicable.
- Clients to be confident that their assets are being held by firms with robust client asset controls as well as strong risk management;
- Clients to be assured that their client assets are safe and will be returned within a reasonable timeframe in the event of firm failure; and
- The UK market to be regarded as a safe place to conduct business and encourage market entrants.
If you have any client money and assets enquiries, please send any queries to CASSGeneral@fca.org.uk