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FCA to expand DB transfer advice probe

FCA to expand DB transfer advice probe

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will expand its review of defined benefit (DB) pension transfer advice after uncovering issues at a number of firms. 

The regulator initially looked at how 92 advice firms were providing advice on DB transfers. It then looked at nine firms in further detail. 

Several firms have since suspended the provision of advice on DB transfers after being visited by the regulator.

In an exclusive interview with New Model Adviser®, FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard (pictured) suggested that the regulator's findings were concerning enough to warrant further investigation. 

'On the basis of that work that has been done to date, we think there is a case for now doing some further work to expand that a little bit more widely, but what we are not doing is ruling anything in or out, certainly in terms of misconduct, for example,' he said.

'At this stage, I don’t think we are treating it as a thematic piece which would go very wide, but there’s obviously a set of issues there that we’d want to look at more closely.'

Woolard explained that although the FCA began with a much wider sample, the nine firms selected for further scrutiny appeared significant in terms of 'the scale of business they were doing'.

The FCA will now approach more firms in order to understand how a range of advisers approach DB transfers.

'Whenever we are in a situation where we find some things that we want to look at a bit more closely, we may well ask a few more firms to come into the mix so that we have got them there as comparisons,' Woolard said.

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