FCA widens DB transfer survey to all pension transfer advisers

Hannah Godfrey reports...

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) questionnaire on defined benefit (DB) transfers has been sent to all firms holding the pension transfer permission, Retirement Planner’s sister publication Professional Adviser can reveal.

Last month Professional Adviser revealed the long-anticipated questionnaire had been sent to several firms in Scotland as part of a pilot request from the regulator. PA understands feedback during the pilot was mostly positive, with all firms involved saying the data requested was easy to access.

The questionnaire has since been sent out to the wider market of those that hold pension transfer permissions. The survey included questions on how many clients the firm has advised to transfer their DB pension, the average transfer value, and how many clients discussed a transfer but not did proceed further.

Additionally, there were questions on the average transfer value, what percentage of the firm’s income was derived from pension transfers, the number of so-called insistent clients the firm has dealt with, and the number of clients introduced through unregulated introducers.

For each question, firms must provide the information in a way that shows a breakdown between six month and year-long time frames.

A document sent with the questionnaire said once the FCA had receives the information it will decide if any further action is needed. The firms now have until 3 December to provide the regulator with the requested information.

A freedom of information (FOI) request sent by Professional Adviser to the regulator earlier this year revealed some 3,026 firms were in scope to receive them.

The FCA has declined to comment.