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Standard Life cuts free TVAS reports after FCA guidance

File image of broken piggy bankStandard Life has decided to cut free transfer value analysis reports for advisers after the FCA expressed concerns they could act as an inducement.

In a flagship policy paper on defined benefit transfers on Monday, the regulator noted many market participants had argued free TVAS software offered by providers presented a conflict, given it is an integral process to providing a recommendation and was an incentive to attract new business.

Under Mifid II, the rules on accepting non-monetary benefits from providers were tightened. The FCA strengthened its own rules on inducement at the same time, and now considers that accepting free TVAS software would fall within this definition so should not be used.

While Standard Life says it will complete the “small number” of pipeline cases currently underway, providers will have to pay for TVAS services from today onwards.

A Standard Life spokeswoman says: “The FCA’s policy paper on DB to defined contribution transfers makes it very clear there is a need for a change of approach with regards to the provision of TVAS services. In response to this, we have taken the decision to withdraw adviser access to our TVAS service with immediate effect.”

A survey of Money Marketing readers last year found an even split between those who thought free TVAS reports were an inducement and those who did not.

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Comments

There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. did not know they offered such a service

  2. Have they not bolted a bit early?

  3. Andrew Macintyre 28th March 2018 at 4:25 pm

    So now more IFAs will be running the odd TVAs here and there on their own software with no checking in place that pension scheme information used is correct. Instead of using Standard Life’s highly trained staff who are doing TVAs every day and know what they are doing.

    And this will improve client outcomes how exactly? You could not make this up.

  4. Andrew, If the IFA can’t put data in a TVAS themselves surely they shouldn’t be giving advice in this area?

  5. The FCA really needs to take a look at itself.

    It fusses over non-problems, creates its own problems which it then attempts to resolve but when Standard Life, Aviva and Foresters stole advisers renewal/trail commission they sat back quite relaxed.

  6. Andrew Macintyre 29th March 2018 at 11:19 am

    @ David. Agreed. But we all know that they will anyway. But my comment is about outcomes.

    Do you think this change will result in better or worse outcomes for advice quality?

  7. @ David & Andrew

    I don’t know about your PI insurer, but ours won’t let us do our own TVAS. Too much risk of conflict of interest and lack of an independent vetting of the scheme data, basically.

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