Selectapension has announced a suspension to its DB transfer advice service for IFAs.
The firm is one of the largest providers of TVAS reports for IFAs, with it completing 47,000 cases for IFAs from April 2016 to April 2017.
As well as this Selectapension provides a DB transfer advice service which IFAs can outsource to through Selectapension Bureau Services. The firm has a team of G60 advisers who can provide this DB transfer service for IFAs and, according to its website, will take on the ‘full responsibility for the advice given’.
However a note appeared on Selectapension’s website at the end of last month which says the firm has decided to stop its DB transfer service for advisers from Selectapension Bureau Services.
‘Please be aware that due to unprecedented demand, we are unable to accept new pension transfer analysis cases for a temporary period. We are working hard to rectify the situation as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused,’ the note said.
A spokeswoman from Selectapension said the reason behind the change was because of an FCA review of its outsourcing partner CFPML.
'Following the recent FCA review of our outsource advice partner CFPML, the regulator recommended making some changes to processes which we are currently implementing. Full permissions remain in place while CFPML are working with the regulator on their ongoing review,' the spokeswoman said.
'We took the decision to suspend the SBS service for new pension transfer requests so the partner firm could deal with the outstanding backlog and to allow CFPML to update their processes. We apologise for any inconvenience caused at this time but are working hard to deal with all pipeline cases as soon as possible.'
CFPML is the principal of Selectapension Bureau Services according to the FCA Register. A spokeswoman for Selectapension, said CFPML provides an advice service to Simplybiz advisers which allows them to outsource their DB transfer advice.
‘The service utilises TVAS transfer analysis from Selectapension tools with CFPML providing the advice,’ the spokeswoman added.
As well as being a principal of Selectapension Bureau Services, the two companies also share two directors, David Price and Toni Bryant, who hold over 25% of shares in CFPML.
When asked about this, a Selectapension spokeswoman said: ‘Selectapension Bureau Services is a distinct financial entity. David Price and Toni Bryant hold a minority stake in this business.’
The changes to the service comes at the same time as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been carrying out a multi-firm supervision exercise into DB transfer advice and as part of this has visited advice firms which have increased the number of pension transfers they are completing.
In February New Model Adviser® reported that deVere has been asked to stop providing TVAS reports for third parties, and is the subject of a skilled person review.
Last month New Model Adviser® also revealed Glasgow-based Intelligent Pensions had agreed with the FCA to stop providing advice on DB transfers and Welsh advice firm Strategic Wealth UK has been asked to stop all pension business until it completes a skilled person review.
Former FCA technical specialist Rory Percival said at the Great Pension Transfer Debate last month he thinks the FCA may be looking at as many as 100 advice firms as part of its review into DB transfer advice.