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Regulator visits firms in switch probe

The FSA is to visit a sample of adviser firms to determine whether pension switching advice has improved since last year’s thematic review.

In August, the FSA sent a questionnaire to around 250 firms conducting pension switching business. It used the responses to select the sample it will visit to determine if firms are now meeting its requirements.

Firms had until September 11 to return the questionnaire, which sought details of commission generated from pension switching business.
Firms had to list the number of complaints received in relation to pension switching advice and whether the Financial Ombudsman Service had upheld any.

In May, the regulator revealed to Money Marketing that four firms had been referred to enforcement over potentially unsuitable advice although it will not divulge if action has been taken against these firms.

The FSA’s review, published last December, found that unsuitable advice had been given in 16 per cent of the 500 cases sampled. A spokesman says: “If we find failings, we will take tough action.”

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