View more on these topics

FCA probes pension distribution deals over competition fears

FCA interior logo 620x430

The FCA has put several pension firms on notice over potentially breaking competition laws around distribution deals and compliance processes.

In one of the first instances of using its competition powers, the regulator has written to firms after reviewing the minutes of meetings on the performance of distribution arrangements.

It says: “As a result we discovered that some of these meetings appeared to operate without any competition compliance protocol to prevent the disclosure of commercially sensitive information.”

A short statement published today does not provide the name, type of firms or detail of the kind of distribution deals in question.

The regulator has met with the firms and says they have made changes as a result.

These include: “Reviewing and self-assessing the arrangements in question as well as other similar arrangements that they have in place, introducing and/or reviewing and updating their competition compliance protocols, and ensuring that all key staff receive competition law training and that this is regularly reviewed and updated.”

The FCA adds: “We would encourage other firms to review their distribution and marketing arrangements to ensure that they comply with competition law. In particular, when engaging with actual or potential competitors, firms should take care not to disclose any commercially sensitive information.”

The action comes as part of the regulator’s retirement income market study. The retirement outcome market study, has been delayed and widened to include the impact of the pension freedoms.



Ian McKenna: FCA due diligence review raises serious questions for platforms and advisers

My initial reaction on opening TR16/1 last month was: where is the rest of it? I cannot remember seeing a shorter thematic review from the FCA. But while the document is concise (perhaps mirroring the regulator’s suggestions advisers should keep suitability reports short) it raises significant questions for both advisers and platform operators. The paper […]


Leader: FCA is once bitten, twice shy on closed-book review

What first struck me when reading the FCA statement on the outcome of its closed-book review was how carefully worded it was. The regulator’s thematic review into “the fair treatment of long-standing customers in the life insurance sector” (the phrase “closed-book review” is a dirty word now apparently) sets out clear examples of the poor […]


The forgotten: FCA exposes how closed-book firms have preyed on clients

The FCA’s explosive review into how firms treat investors in antiquated products has exposed the failure of the treating customers fairly regime and could spark a fresh wave of compensation claims. The regulator’s long-awaited report into the life and pension sector’s closed-book businesses reveals the full extent of firms’ exploitation of long-standing customers. Running in […]


Peter Hamilton: Could the FCA handle a return of the tied salesforce?

According to the FCA and the Treasury, the express purpose of the Financial Advice Market Review is “…to look at how financial advice could work better for consumers. The Review has a wide scope and aims to look across the financial services market to improve the availability of advice to people, particularly those who do […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Can anyone translate “when engaging with actual or potential competitors, firms should take care not to disclose any commercially sensitive information” into plain English? What have these providers and distributors done to incur the wrath of the FCA?

  2. ‘Distribution deals’. Is this journospeak for back handers? If so who is receiving them and why are they escaping censure & naming & shaming?

  3. Another day another probing. Have we reached peak probe? Probably not, keeps everyone in work in La La land.

  4. Maybe I’m being naive but I wonder whether there will ever come a time where all firms stand on their own two feet and operate on an arms length basis?

    Cynical, yes, but one can only assume that where ‘cosy arrangements’ are made, the key beneficiaries are the participants to that agreement?

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm