• Robert Bell

FCA Phased Transition from Gabriel to RegData

The Financial Conduct Authority announced in mid-2019 that it would be replacing its Gabriel data system with RegData, a new system designed to be easier to use than Gabriel and more efficient in the collection of over half a million regulatory reports the FCA receives annually from firms.


The regulator hopes that the new system will better support their digital regulatory reporting work, with the aim being to reduce burden on firms and to transform the way the FCA regulates through using advanced analytics. Although initially there will be no changes to the way that firms report data, the FCA do intend to develop the new system further, once they have information on the way that firms use the platform in practice.


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The first set of firms moved over to the new system this weekend (16-18 October 2020), and for the next few months, firms will be moved across in batches, depending on their reporting requirements.


The FCA will send out emails from the Gabriel system to advise firms of their individual transition date – one email will be sent three weeks before the move, a second email five days prior to the move, and a final notification on the day before.


To prepare, Gabriel users should make sure that up-to-date contact details are recorded in Gabriel, that the correct Principal User is recorded, that accurate information for all active Gabriel users is recorded, and continue to use Gabriel until they receive their emails from the FCA.


The FCA has released a set of resources to help explain the new system, with short explainer videos taking users through everything from logging in to changing user details to inputting data.


Gabriel has been in use since 2002, and it has experienced some technical difficulties throughout its history, including a five-day blackout in December 2019 which left some firms struggling to meet returns deadlines. The new system is bespoke and has been built to meet modern requirements.


The new platform is part of the FCA’s updated approach to intelligence and information, with the platform offering better scope for more effective analysis of the data that firms submit. In any case, the platform should help to streamline regulatory returns, which should make submission easier for firms. In practice, RegData should be faster than Gabriel, easier to use, and is designed with more flexible technology. Early reports are that the new help text facility, appearing throughout makes the interface more accessible and that there is a more tailored view of the schedule of reporting requirements.


Since March, when Gabriel users logon, they have been asked to complete a short registration activity that creates an account for the new platform, and which links to the Connect account. Firms should continue reporting via Gabriel until they are notified that their data has been moved across to RegData.


The FCA has been working with firms and advisers since 2018 to develop the platform and find out what technology users need to be able to make the collection and reporting of data more efficient. The FCA uses the information submitted by firms to assess their compliance with the regulator’s requirements, including the threshold conditions and conduct of business requirements.


Understanding the work of the Financial Conduct Authority, why and how it impacts on the work of financial services firms is an important basis for those staff who need to work with the regulator and for front-line agents, certified staff, and compliance staff who need to understand why the work they do can have real impacts on both customers and on the compliance of the firm with the FCA’s requirements.


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