Aegon has urged the FCA to provide clarity on its expectations around advice on transferring out of a defined benefit pension as demand for transfer advice continues to soar.
In its results for the first three months of the year, published today, Aegon saw record new business flows of £1.2bn onto its ARC platform. The company says this is due to strong market performance and pension freedoms.
Aegon UK chief executive Adrian Grace says demand for DB transfer advice is exceeding supply.
He says: “With advisers naturally cautious, there’s a growing consensus that the FCA could benefit the market by offering regulatory clarity on what it expects from transfer advice, so that advisers can respond to customer requests for advice with confidence.”
Overall Aegon’s platform business has amassed combined assets of £102bn, following the acquisition of Cofunds in January. Cofunds accounts for £86.6bn of total assets.
Grace says: “We believe scale will be vital in the platform market and a record quarter of new sales on the Aegon platform and the strong performance of Cofunds in Q1 put us in an excellent position.
“The technology upgrade approach we’ve outlined to our advisory board and to the market, is designed to combine the best of both the platforms. We’re confident in our ability to deliver the project as we’re working with established technology and while there’s a lot hard work ahead we’re pleased with our progress to date and are on track and on budget.”
Platforum head Heather Hopkins says: “Aegon’s results are a strong signal advisers are confident with the strategic direction of the platform business. Of the £1.9bn coming onto the platform, £1.2bn was new retail money and the remainder was from customers being upgraded from legacy products. We understand it was Aegon’s strongest new business quarter to date.
“Pensions as a driver of growth is consistent with what we are seeing across the market. In Q4 2016, 82 per cent of net flows to adviser platforms went to a pension wrapper. The pension freedoms and DB to DC transfers continue to fuel growth of adviser platforms.”