Trade bodies propose new investment transfer rules

UK-Currency-Money-Coin-Pounds-GBP-700x450Eight investment and pensions trade bodies have set out plans to change the way investors can transfer assets between different pensions and investment providers.

The group, which includes Apfa, The Association of British Insurers and The Investment Associatio, has held discussions with the FCA, Department for Work and Pensions and The Pensions Regulator over its proposals.

In a published a consultation paper today, the trade bodies lay out five main proposals:

  • The creation of clear service expectations for transfers and re-registrations, including a 48 hour standard for completing each step in the process.
  • The collection of high level management information and a common reporting methodology for all transfers and re-registration instructions.
  • The creation of a forum to identify, prioritise and implement solutions that resolve unnecessary barriers to transfer and re-registration processes.
  • The development of common industry standards and good practice guidelines for the retail investment and pensions industry.
  • The establishment of an independent governance and oversight body to oversee the implementation of the final proposals.

Fidelity International head of business development and chair of the group Ed Dymott says: “Enabling consumers to shop around and move between providers is fundamental to any competitive market. For pensions and investments, this means customers need to be able to consolidate or move their assets between different providers efficiently and with clarity at all stages.

“This review recognises that this is a highly complex area, with a broad range of different products and participants involved in the transfer process. There is some good market practice already in existence that can be built on, however we also recognise there are parts of the market where improvements can be made. We believe the five proposals under consultation can provide the framework for improving client outcomes for transfers.”

ABI director of policy Yvonne Braun adds: “This initiative aims to speed up the transfer and re-registration process and is a positive example of the industry collaborating to make things better for consumers. We’re pleased to be co-ordinating this work and are now consulting with the wider industry and all interested stakeholders to ensure our proposed next steps are practical.”

The trade bodies are seeking input from all stakeholders and is due to produce a final set of recommendations in Spring 2017.