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Rockingham in row over ‘discussing’ WP annuity

Concerns have been raised after Rockingham Retirement offered to “discuss in detail” a with-profits annuity despite having lost its permissions to advise clients.

Last year, the FSA withdrew Rockingham’s advisory permissions, preventing it from advising on investments, pension transfers and pension opt-outs.

The ban does not extend to arranging direct-offer annuity contracts.

In a response to a client query on standard annuities, seen by Money Marketing, the firm quotes a Legal & General with-profits product based on a 5 per cent anticipated bonus rate for non-protected rights funds.

The document says: “A with-profits annuity does have an element of risk involved in that the annuity can go up or down.

“The benefits and risks of a with-profits annuity are summarised at the end of this email. We can also discuss this in detail with you, should you be interested in this option.”

Compliance consultant Adam Samuel says Rockingham’s claim that the 5 per cent ABR with-profit annuity has an element of risk is “grotesquely misleading”.

He says: “If you have had your permissions ripped out by the FSA and then you say you can discuss a product in detail, that is also misleading.”

Ingard IFA Ian Osang says: “I would be interested to see how Rockingham would be able to ’discuss in more detail’ this product, given that it cannot give advice.”

Rockingham was unavailable for comment.

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  1. As at early last year, Rockingham were offering a “full advisory service” on drawdown in the notes at the end of their annuity quotes.

    Did the ban not apply to drawdown?

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