If an employer regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and/or the Prudential Regulation Authority receives a reference request relating to a former employee who was an approved person who is about to perform a controlled function must it respond?

Yes. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) require an employer to respond as soon as reasonably practicable to a reference request relating to an employee who will be performing a controlled function and to provide all the relevant information of which it is aware. Failure to do so may result in the FCA or PRA taking enforcement action.