The FCA is in discussions with industry representatives and lawyers on its approach to insistent clients.
Any saver who wants to ditch their defined benefit scheme for a defined contribution plan to take advantage of the new pension freedoms will be required to take advice before transferring.
Industry experts have raised concerns that advisers who process transfers following a negative recommendation could open themselves up to future complaints.
And earlier this month Money Marketing reported the FCA had ordered eight advice firms to carry out skilled persons reports in relation to insistent clients following a thematic review on pension transfers last July.
The review into bulk pension transfer advice on enhanced transfer values found that over half of transfers took place on an insistent basis, and in many cases the reasons for the client acting on an insistent basis were not recorded.
A source close to the discussions says: “The regulator is seeking input on what is appropriate for advisers to do on insistent clients.
“The pension freedoms are an opportunity to seek clarity and firms are crying out for some clear guidance to avoid a repeat of the ETV review.”
Money Marketing understands the FCA has also met with a number of individual advice firms to discuss the issue.
Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards says the regulator’s current policy does not take into account the pension freedoms or the ETV review, but it cannot issue a change in policy without a formal consultation.
He says: “There definitely seems to be a contradiction between the FCA’s stated policy position on insistent clients, and the way its supervisory team is treating them as part of the ETV thematic review.
“The FCA is monitoring the situation very closely and if it sees consumer detriment starting to materialise I am sure it will consult on whether the rules should be changed.
“In the meantime, the profession needs to take the lead and responsibility for its actions, rather than waiting for the regulator to tell it carte blanche what it can and cannot do.”
An FCA spokeswoman says: “Where an individual insists on going ahead with the transfer, even when the advice is against it, the adviser should set out their advice clearly in writing and keep it, along with a clear record that the customer has insisted on proceeding with the transaction.”