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Pru re-enters DB transfer advice market

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Prudential has gained FCA approval to give DB transfer advice, Money Marketing can reveal.

As demand for defined benefit transfer value reports has increased, the provider has re-entered the market.

Prudential’s financial planning business recently re-introduced a team to give customers advice about DB transfers after receiving FCA authorisation.

A spokesman says the service will be restricted to clients who hold deferred pensions and are close to taking their benefits.

Hymans Robertson corporate consulting head Jon Hatchett says many providers that left the DB transfer space are now starting to re-enter, albeit by taking a risk-averse approach.

Standard Life-owned national advice firm 1825, for example, is also offering DB transfer advice to clients of the firms it is acquiring.

A Standard Life spokeswoman says: “Given that DB pots are often a significant part of clients wealth we believe it’s important that we consider this as part of our overall advice. Where it makes sense for the client, 1825 can advise on a DB transfer and its clearly an area where quality advice is very important.”

However, the spike in DB transfer workload has led to increase pressure on transfer value analysis providers, with some stopping taking on new clients.

Money Marketing can reveal TVAS provider O&M Pension Solutions recently started turning down adviser clients because it had reached capacity.

Director Jason Wykes says the move affects new customers only and came into effect in January.

Wykes says: “A lot of existing customers have sent in a lot of cases so we want to focus on those. Existing customers can still send in their cases.”

Hargreaves Lansdown was also rumoured to have put a temporary pause on DB transfer business, a claim that has been dismissed by retirement policy head Tom McPhail.

McPhail says the number of enquiries the firm has received has fallen over time because the firm has not actively been marketing its DB transfer services.

He says: “In the majority of cases we are engaging with customers, ultimately the outcome is we do not provide them with a service because it’s not in the client’s best interest. We try to identify that early, save them money by not carrying on a lengthy process with them.

“We are not publicly promoting our services in this area, and as a consequence the number of enquiries has diminished.”

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