The FCA has been looking into the defined benefit transfer market for more than 18 months, but no firms have faced enforcement action so far, Money Marketing has learned.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the regulator says that its multi-firm supervision exercise into DB transfer advice kicked off as far back as October 2015, and remains ongoing.
The FCA adds that it has not set a date for finishing its work.
It says: “The end date of the project is dependent on findings of the firms’ reviews, therefore no formal end date has been established at this stage.”
Despite collecting information from 92 firms and visiting nine, none have had to sign attestations – a process where they agree with the FCA to change certain practices – undergo so-called ‘section 166’ investigations or been the subject of FCA enforcement action as a result of the review.
The FCA says: “To date, three of the firms involved in the review have voluntarily submitted an application to request that a requirement to cease providing advice on the transfer, or conversion, of safeguarded benefits under a pension scheme to flexible benefits, is included in their permission. These applications have been approved by the FCA.”
The review is being staffed through “ad-hoc” input from across the FCA’s departments and is coming at no extra cost by using existing employees, the regulator confirmed.