Friday, 12 January 2018 19:02

FCA rejects MPs attack on its handling of BSPS complaints

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The Financial Conduct Authority says it "wholly rejects" the conclusion of the Work and Pension Committee about its actions on BSPS.

The FCA strongly believes that it has taken taken "all the appropriate action we can within our remit on this issue."

The Works and Pensions Select Committee, chaired by Frank Field MP, has made further attacks today on the FCA's handling of the BSPS pension transfer complaints. The FCA has promised to review all UK pension transfers this year.

The FCA says that since the introduction of the Pension Freedoms, the issue of pension transfer advice has been a priority for the FCA.

A spokesman said: "Our focus has been on ensuring consumers’ interests are protected. Ongoing supervision work reviewing client files on advice for DB to DC transfers resulted in the publication of alerts in January and October 2017 for advisers which set out clearly our expectations.

"The FCA’s work on BSPS in particular has been thorough and includes meetings with local advisers, BSPS members, firm visits and reviewing client files. To date, the FCA has held meetings in Swansea and Doncaster for advisers who specialise in pension transfer advice which 151 advisers attended. In addition, the FCA has contacted 109 firms in connection with advice for transferring out of BSPS, and 66 of these have been asked to provide further information.

"Following FCA intervention, eight firms have decided to stop providing advice on pension transfers. As part of this work, the FCA has been working with the Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), and has written directly to over 12,000 BSPS members. The FCA’s work in relation to BSPS is ongoing."

The FCA says it is in the process of writing to all pension transfer advisers to remind them of the findings of our previous work and our expectations. As part of pre- planned wider work on pension transfer advice, the FCA will be collecting data from all firms that hold the pension transfer permission to assess practices across the entire market.

In addition, the FCA is currently reviewing rules and guidance for pension transfer advice.

The FCA says it will continue to take robust, timely and intrusive action on pension transfer advice to ensure consumers are protected.


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