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AFB Seminar: Exploring Regulatory Reference Expectations

For this in-person seminar, the AFB is delighted to partner with the financial services team at Fox Williams LLP.

The ‘war for talent’ is a big issue when it comes to recruiting for senior banking roles. The regulatory requirements of the SMCR have led to new challenges for AFB members reviewing and assessing references for  incoming staff members. Moreover, there is an additional challenge for those being recruited from outside the UK, when it may not even be possible to obtain all the required information. In such cases the references may not be ‘clean’, particularly where there has been non-financial misconduct. In addition, some firms face issues when they  need to provide references for departing members of staff.

This session is designed to give practical advice drawing on Fox Williams’ experience of working with overseas banks who are recruiting new staff.  It will include example scenarios based on real cases. 

Why attend?

The regulatory reference regime is a key pillar of the SMCR and the FCA’s drive to improve culture and compliance standards in the UK’s banking industry. Since its introduction, there has been little guidance to help banks understand if they are complying with the requirements, including where there has been non-financial misconduct. The requirement for a bank to assess the fitness and propriety of a new hire is a particular challenge for member banks, who frequently transfer staff from jurisdictions not subject to the regime, and for which there is unlikely to be a reference meeting the requirements of SYSC 22. 

What will members gain for use Back@Bank?

  • An insight into how banks are managing regulatory references and who should be responsible for the processes for dealing with incoming and outgoing references
  • Tips on drafting a qualified reference and what to do if the bank receives one
  • Practical guidance on dealing with and responding to non-financial misconduct in references
  •  An insight into how banks are meeting requirements and assessing fitness and propriety for overseas hires and secondees.


Joanna Chatterton, Partner

Joanna is the head of Fox Williams’ employment team and has made a number of presentations to AFB members. Her work for employers in the financial services sector generally involves matters with strategic implications and sensitive reputational and regulatory concerns. She has extensive experience successfully supporting clients through complex and high value discrimination and whistleblowing claims and is an expert in the interaction between employment law and regulatory law.  

David Murphy, Partner

David is a partner in Fox Williams’ employment team. His clients are mainly employers in the financial and professional services sectors.  He advises banks, insurers, investment management firms and wealth management boutiques on a range of issues including new hires and senior exits, difficult employee relations matter such as performance management, dismissals and exit packages, through to tribunal litigation and the employment aspects of re-organisations and acquisitions. 

Sona Ganatra, Partner

Sona is a partner in Fox Williams’ financial services team, with a specialism in FCA and SFO investigations and corporate internal investigations. She has extensive experience in advising corporates and senior executives on a broad range of financial services regulatory issues, including on matters involving money laundering; fraud; bribery and corruption; financial misstatements; market misconduct; systems and controls failures; and the change in control regime. Sona leads our firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative.

Daisy Jones, Legal Director

Daisy is a legal director in Fox Williams’ employment team and advises on all aspects of employment law and HR-related issues for employers and for senior executives. Daisy has a particular focus on the financial services sector and frequently works alongside the firm’s specialist regulatory lawyers. Daisy is also a member of the firm’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime specialist group. In addition to her financial services focus, Daisy also advises on sensitive board issues.


Cost:        Included in AFB membership (no fee)

Location:  In-Person at Fox Williams LLP, 10 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1AF

Date:        Thursday 22 September 2022

Time:        09:00 – 10:00. Registration and light refreshments from 08:30

This seminar is limited to 60 attendees.

There will be ample opportunity for questions throughout the session, however, if you would like to submit a question before or have any specific questions or areas that you would like the session to address, please send them to the AFB at as soon as practicable. You will receive details on how to join the session a few days before the event.