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FCA targets transfer times in non-workplace pensions probe data request

FCA logo new 2 620x430The FCA wants providers to give it information on transfer times as part of a data request for its probe into non-workplace pensions.

In February, the regulator published a discussion paper where it set out to understand if competition is working in that sector, which it estimates has around £400bn in assets under management.

Money Marketing understands the regulator has now sent a data request to providers that includes questions about the types of products offered, the target markets for these products, and who they have been sold to.

It is understood the FCA also wants a description of charging structures, if there is an early exit fee to transfer to a different provider, and if so, what that exit fee is.

On transfers, the FCA wants to know the average time it takes for a policyholder to switch to a different provider and the factors that impact that process.

The FCA is also understood to have asked about business models, the design of products and the strategies used to support them.

It is understood the regulator approached providers at the start of July with the deadline for data submission set at the end of that month.

Nic Cicutti: FCA must up sense of urgency on non-workplace pensions

However, Money Marketing understands from one source that might have been extended for some firms.

This morning the FCA said it has extended the deadline for firms needing additional time to Friday 14 September.

Another source supports the watchdog asking for this information as it shows a willingness to understand the nuances of the “diverse and complex” non-workplace market.

But some providers may have found it hard to supply the information within the month deadline, particularly those with a high proportion of legacy products on their books, according to the source, who adds that the FCA is likely to send out more questions to collect additional information.

Commenting on the FCA’s data gathering exercise, AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby says: “The asset management market study, platforms review and retirement outcomes review have all had a clear focus on ensuring savers get value for money from the financial services industry.

“It is no surprise therefore that this approach is being replicated in its analysis of the growing non-workplace pensions market.”

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