Janice Laing, director of business at Compliance First, explains what to expect from the FCA's online business risk awareness assessments.
Clearly not wanting to let any grass even think about growing beneath its feet, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued emails containing information regarding the Business Risk Awareness Online Assessment tool to what seems to be most firms in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This includes investment, mortgage and general insurance businesses and will spread to include English and Welsh firms, in geographical groups, before the end of 2013.
If, following recent workshops in your area, you have already undertaken a face-to-face or telephone assessment from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), or have one arranged with the FCA, as we understand it, you will not also be subject to one of the online assessments.
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If you are selected to complete this assessment, however, the following will give you an idea of what will be required.
The online assessment is mainly made up of multiple choice questions and the answers you select determine your next questions; for example, selecting option ‘a’ for question one will deliver a different question two than if you had selected option ‘b’.
It is important to be aware that, once you have completed a question, you are unable to go back and change your answer – this is definitely an example of more haste equalling less speed.
For this reason, read all the questions carefully and then select the answer that is most appropriate to your type of firm and the type of business you undertake. If you have previously completed a risk assessment of your business then this content should provide you with the bulk of the answers.
The good news is that you do not have to do the whole assessment in one sitting – you can stop, save your answers and continue again at a later point. Moreover, rather than long waiting times for feedback from the assessment, an automated system evaluates your responses and immediately sends out an analysis of your results via email.
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