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Senior Managers Breathe Sigh of Relief Over Burden of Proof

Guilty until proven innocent?  Not any more it seems…

The FT is reporting that the ‘reverse burden of proof’ rule which forms a key plank of the Senior Managers’ Regime – and which holds executives liable unless they can prove that they took reasonable steps to prevent a regulatory breach from occurring or continuing – will be dropped.  In its place will exist a statutory duty of responsibility under which senior managers will be required to take all appropriate steps to prevent a regulatory breach from occurring.

According to the article, the Bank of England regards this as a change of “process rather than substance”.  However, the re-reversal of the burden of proof is undoubtedly a very significant development.  Once again, regulators will have to prove their case – bringing the Senior Managers Regime back to a place it should never have left – in line with the most basic tenet of English law.

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