UK wealth manager and financial planner – pension switching suitability

Client type: UK wealth manager and financial planner

Regulatory Area: Pension switching suitability

Client summary

Our client was concerned about the poor quality of suitability reports issued by some of its financial planning team.

Project objectives

  • Provide resource for a part-time secondment
  • Check and sign-off all suitability reports before they were sent to the firm’s clients
  • Develop an improved suite of suitability report templates.

How we helped

During this work, it soon became apparent to us that there was a serious competence issue with one particular adviser who always recommended the same formulaic solution (pension switch to a new SIPP with the assets managed by the in-house discretionary manager), regardless of the client’s circumstances, needs or objectives.

Consequently, we were then asked to review the suitability of all the pension switch recommendations made by this adviser – since he joined the firm and to specify remedial actions in all cases (given that we assessed all of them to be either unclear or unsuitable).

We also used the key deficiencies identified during our reviews to train the whole financial planning team about the pitfalls to avoid, and how best to evidence the suitability of their advice.

Results

Our work has allowed the client to improve the robustness of its controls over quality of advice and the way it supervises its advisers, particularly in respect of pension switching. And to demonstrate that it is committed to identifying any customer detriment and rectifying matters where necessary.

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