Major defined benefit transfer provider Selectapension Bureau Services has said it should be able to resume business for new clients early next year after being caught up in the regulator’s review of the market.
SBS suspended its DB pension transfer business in June after the FCA audited of its outsourced advice firm CFPML.
SBS can still handle report writing and transfer value calculation services for pension transfer analysis, but cannot execute advice without CFPML.
An SBS spokeswoman tells Money Marketing: “Our partner CFPML has made good progress to meet the FCA’s requirements, following their visit in June, and are well on track to complete this work by the end of October. They should therefore be in a position to process those cases which await recommendations from early November.
“All advisers who have introduced cases have been contacted to establish whether they wish to continue with CFPML or to withdraw these, with no charge, and proceed with a new advice firm.
“We will prioritise the existing pipeline cases and are therefore unlikely to accept any new cases until the beginning of 2018.”
However, a note on the SBS website from 26 June that the firm cannot accept new TVAS cases remain in place.
Intelligent Pensions, another significant player in the IFA market as a specialist in pension transfer advice, agreed with the FCA on 7 June to suspend DB transfer services.
Intelligent Pensions technical director Fiona Tait says that the firm is “still in negotiations with the FCA” and could not provide an update until these are finished.
Other advice firms visited by the FCA also remain closed to new transfer business. A note on the website of Kent-based Heather Dunne IFA, for example, remains unchanged from last month. It reads: “HDIFA is not currently taking on new cases while we revise our terms and processes. We will be updating all existing introducers once these changes have been completed.”
The FCA is continuing to review the DB transfer market. It recently released results of its suitability assessments at the firms it investigated.
Of 88 transfers that were advised to go ahead, it found only 47 per cent were suitable. In 36 per cent of cases, suitability was unclear, while 17 per cent were ruled unsuitable.
Separately, it assessed the suitability of the product and fund the customer ended up in. Only 35 per cent of these were suitable. 24 per cent were unsuitable, and 40 per cent were unclear.