New News Item 24 July 2020

Quilter stops network IFAs from offering DB transfers

But it is ‘committed’ to providing the service through its restricted financial planners

Quilter is limiting access to its defined benefit (DB) pension transfer permissions to restricted financial planners.

The firm has told IFAs in its network that they will not be allowed to do DB transfers under its Financial Conduct Authority permissions.

It will be “communicating the changes to impacted firms on an individual basis as it will impact each differently” Quilter confirmed.

This comes as International Adviser recently reported that UK-based wealth firm Tideway Investment Partners has been stripped of its pension transfer advice authorisation.

Quality-controlled advice

A spokesperson from Quilter Financial Planning said it “is committed to providing defined benefit pension transfer advice for those that need it”.

“The regulator has rightly acknowledged the risks involved in this area of advice and the detriment to clients is substantial when the best possible advice is not given.

“To ensure we are giving quality-controlled advice, we are restricting DB transfer permissions to our restricted financial planners, who are required to choose from highly researched and governed panels of products and investments.”

DB crackdown

This comes several weeks after the FCA set out a range of measures designed to address weaknesses across the DB pension transfer market.

It included steps to reduce conflicts of interest by banning contingent charging, as well as help for advisers “who want to do the right thing and provide good quality advice to their customers”.

The FCA also sent a letter sent to 7,700 British Steel Pension Scheme members to encourage them to review the advice they had received to transfer out of the pension scheme, and make a claim against their adviser if needed.

DB transfer legacy cases have also posed a problem for affordable professional indemnity (PI) insurance, as the advice industry spent more than £110m on PI insurance last year.

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