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Warning on FSAVC penalties

The Pension Advisers Support System is warning IFAs to complete the FSAVC review on time or face the same harsh penalties as those for breaches of the pension review.

The warning comes as Pass reveals the IFA life offices with the biggest FSAVC populations include CGNU, Friends Provident, Prudential, Scottish Equitable and Standard Life.

IFAs must identify their FSAVC populations to the FSA by September 15. Even firms with no FSAVC sales need to send a report.

IFAs failing to identify their populations correctly or to complete the review in time risk PIA disciplinary procedures such as fines and suspensions, according to Pass. The review must be completed by December 31 2001.

Following identification of FSAVC cases, IFAs have to mail clients affected and take them through the review.

Pass will be extending its loan scheme to cover the cost of the review and compensation to policyholders. The scheme&#39s sponsors – 27 IFA life offices – have agreed to the move which should see IFAs able to borrow money to pay for any redress from January next year.

Pass also offers a helpdesk, guide to the FSAVC review, a healthcheck service and loss assessment service.

Pass chief executive Mark Penton says: “September 15 is an important deadline and firms are advised to get the review off to a good start. That is why we are delivering this warning shot.

“Get the starting point right and the rest follows – a big lesson from the pension review. We hope IFAs will learn from experience.”

l Pass workshops, p12

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