FCA eyes insistent transfers adviser guidance

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FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley says the regulator plans to issue further guidance to advisers about how to deal with insistent client pension transfer requests.

The issue of insistent transfers has been brought to the fore following the introduction of pension freedoms in April. People with defined benefit pensions worth more than £30,000 who want to take advantage of the new flexibilities are required to take advice before transferring to a defined contribution scheme.

This has created a tension between advisers and clients, with advisers concerned they risk being held liable for losses by the Financial Ombudsman Service if they process a transfer following a negative recommendation.

Experts have warned DB savers could be left frustrated if they are unable to find an adviser willing to process their transfer, while there are also concerns unscrupulous firms may be willing to rubber stamp unsuitable transfers.

Following a keynote speech at the Lansons Future of Financial Services conference in London today, Money Marketing asked Wheatley whether he recognised advisers’ concerns about insistent clients.

He said: “Yes we recognise the concerns. Lots of people want to access their cash and clearly there is a requirement they take advice, particularly when transferring out of a DB scheme as that is quite complex.

“DB values are quite high at the moment so people are quite seduced by those offers.

“I’m very aware it is a concern that firms have and we are looking at what further advice we can provide to help them deal with insistent clients.”