FCA issues new remote working guidance to financial services sector

The FCA has issued new guidance to firms across the financial services sector who are operating a remote or hybrid working model.
The guidance states that companies should be careful to ensure that remote working does not affect the ability of the firm to oversee its functions, cause detriment to consumers, damage the integrity of the market, increase financial crime or reduce competition.
Other advice contained in the proposals include the need for companies to have the necessary planning in place.

The FCA has recommended that firms need to ensure they have robust IT systems and controls in place, and that they should ensure they have considered any data, cyber and security risks – particularly as staff may transport confidential material and laptops more frequently in a hybrid arrangement. 
Companies have also been warned to consider the full legal implications for their business as well as how key functions will be performed, overseen and based.

Commenting on the new guidance, Tessian CEO, Tim Sadler, said: “A hybrid working model brings with it huge benefits in terms of employee wellbeing, cost saving and flexibility, but also substantial cyber risks. The FCA is right to raise awareness of the need for companies to carefully consider how they manage remote working operations to ensure they remain compliant at all times.

“As well as ensuring the right security systems are in place, it’s essential that staff are fully trained about the risks posed in terms of data security around incorrectly addressed email correspondence as well as external threats like phishing emails, ransomware attacks.

“Financial services organisations manage valuable and critical data, and it’s so important that they do not allow flexible working practices to put them at risk of a breach.”

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