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FCA plans further crackdown on poor pension transfer advice

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial markets regulator said it was taking further action against advisers providing poor advice to thousands of pensions savers looking to access cash in their pension pots.

The Financial Conduct Authority said it was concerned firms were recommending that large numbers of consumers transfer out of their pension schemes despite warnings that transfers were likely to be unsuitable for most clients.

The concerns were raised in an FCA study into defined benefit transfers published on Wednesday.

“The FCA has repeatedly made clear its expectations of financial advisers as well as strengthening the rules around pension transfer advice.

“Despite this, too much advice the FCA have seen to date is still not of an acceptable standard.”

The FCA surveyed 3,015 firms and found that between April 2015 and September 2018 that 2,426 firms had provided advice to 234,951 scheme members on transferring their defined benefit pension and 162,047 members had been recommended to transfer out.

The total value of DB pensions where transfer advice had been provided was 82.8 billion pounds, with an average value of 352,303 pounds.

The FCA said it would visit some firms to complete a fullassessment of the firms’ approach to DB advice, focusing on key aspects of firms’ business models and processes which could give rise to harm.

(Reporting By Sinead Cruise, editing by Iain Withers)

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