Compliance


Advisers have long learned to cope with the compliance burden placed on their businesses. However, it remains a major headache for advisory practices.

In our compliance section FundsNetwork provide summaries of the FCA rules and guidance on issues such as pension transfers.


Pension transfer advice: contingent charging and other proposed changes

Transferring out of DB schemes continues to be a controversial area. FundsNetwork provides a four-page summary of the FCA’s Consultation Paper CP19/25.

  • Research has shown that 69% of consumers are advised to transfer.

  • The regulator thinks this is too high and many transfers are not in the best interests of consumers.

  • The FCA is consulting on a range of proposals relating to transfer advice.

 

Retirement Outcomes Review

A four-page summary of the FCA’s Policy Statement PS19/21.

  • The market study explored whether consumers can make informed decisions about the choice of platform.

  • The regulator found that the market is working well in many ways for both advised and non-advised consumers.

  • The FCA has identified a few areas that need improvement.

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FCA Platform Market Study - summary of final report

The FCA Platform Market Study showed the market working well, but identified some areas for improvement. Fidelity providers a four-page summary of the FCA’s final report and proposals.

Following the FCA's Interim Report looking into the platform market in the UK, the regulator published its final findings and remedies (MS17/1.3) in March 2019. The market study explored whether consumers can make informed decisions about the choice of platform, the investments they choose and whether firms compete to add value for consumers.

Reassuringly, the regulator found that the market is working well in many ways for both advised and non-advised consumers. However, the FCA has identified a few areas that need improvement along with some proposed remedies. Below we briefly summarise the key points from the study, although we recommend firms read the full text to see how they may be affected.

 

Pension transfer advice - A summary of the FCA's current guidance and rules

The pension freedoms introduced in 2015 have given consumers with defined contribution (DC) pensions more flexibility in how and when they can access their savings. As a result, a significant number of consumers with defined benefit (DB) pensions have transferred their savings to DC schemes, after taking mandatory advice.

The FCA believes that DB pensions offer extremely valuable benefits and that most customers would be best advised not to transfer. However, research has shown that 69% of consumers are advised to transfer. The regulator thinks this is too high and that many transfers have not been in the best interests of the consumer. Accordingly, the FCA considers that it needs to intervene to protect consumers and are consulting on a range of proposals relating to transfer advice. These are outlined in a Consultation Paper (CP19/25) and firms have until 30 October 2019 to pass on their comments to the regulator. Here FundsNetwork briefly summarise the key points from the paper, although we recommend firms read the full text to see how they may be affected by the proposals.

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