Glasgow-based IFA Intelligent Pensions has regained its permissions to advise on defined benefit (DB) transfers.

The firm agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in June 2017 to stop carrying out advice on transfers. 

A note on Intelligent Pensions' page on the FCA register previously said the firm was to: 'immediately cease to provide advice in relation to the transfer, or conversion, of safeguarded benefits under a pension scheme to flexible benefits.’

However, this permission restriction no longer appears on the register entry. 

New Model Adviser® understands the advice firm was given the all clear from the FCA to advise on transfers in the second half of 2018.

An Intelligent Pensions spokeswoman said: 'Having agreed with the FCA to voluntarily suspend offering DB transfer advice in 2017, we have demonstrated our advice process delivers good outcomes for our clients and these permissions were reinstated last year.'

Intelligent Pensions is now carrying out DB transfer advice again.

The regulator was understood to have been concerned in 2017 that Intelligent Pensions was not performing satisfactory due diligence on information provided by firms outsourcing transfers to the firm.

In particular, this included details about where client assets ended up after a recommendation to transfer was made. 

In financial statements published in May 2018, Intelligent Pensions reported it was mindful a review on past DB transfer advice was likely to be needed to help get DB transfer permissions back, and this review could affect the company performance during 2018. 

The firm said in the 2018 statements the voluntary DB transfer permission restriction ‘impacted both turnover and profit in the second half of the year [2017]’.

It also highlighted a lack of appetite for insurers to cover final salary pension transfer business under the 'heightened regulatory scrutiny'. However, it anticipated once permissions were reinstated, this would 'evidence a highly compliant control environment' which would mitigate insurers' concerns. 

In April 2017, Royal London’s former technical director Fiona Tait (pictured) came in as the firm’s technical director to replace longstanding technical director David Trenner, who retired.