Tuesday, 15 May 2018 09:26

‘Don’t ban contingent charging’, says expert

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Adam Tavener, chairman of Clifton Asset Management Adam Tavener, chairman of Clifton Asset Management

A call by Aviva’s chief executive Andy Briggs to ban contingent charging has been criticised as “too heavy handed” by an expert.

Following reports that Aviva had backed the move, Adam Tavener, chairman of Clifton Asset Management, suggested a different approach as he felt an outright ban “would have unintended consequences for low earners.”

Contingent charging is where advice fees are only charged when a financial product or procedure is proceeded with and has been used in the pension transfer market. Some critics say it encourages advisers to recommend a transfer to secure a fee but defenders say that it makes advice more affordable for less well off individuals.

Mr Tavener said: “Rather than applying one fee to a DB transaction, we would propose that a smaller amount is attached to each stage of the process.

“By stripping out each stage into an item by item charging structure, the end cost may be the same to the individual that has executed the transfer, but for the individual that hasn’t, the cost will be a fraction of this cost.”

He added: “We also strongly recommend that the FCA ensures that only the organisations that provide advice at all stages of the process are allowed to operate in this market.

“These organisations will then own and keep that advice on their books and need to stand by it for the forceable future.”

Aviva chief executive, Andy Briggs, told the Financial Times: “I personally would say in [DB to DC] transfers, whatever the fee is, you have to pay, even if the decision is not to transfer.”

“This will be a powerful way of making sure that only those clients that are genuinely interested [in the advice] engage with the process, and that would be an extra guard against any potential rogue advisers in this space.”


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