Blevins Franks chief executive David Franks said the plan, known as the Expatriate Retirement Plan and administered by Blevins Franks Trustees, is currently awaiting approval by HM Revenue & Customs in order to be granted QROPS status, but that no delays are foreseen and that it is expected within weeks.
Once approved it will be Blevins Franks’s first QROPS.
Franks stressed that Blevins Franks was not embarking on the QROPS business "in a big way", and that it would continue to use other QROPS providers except "where [our Malta] QROPS may be appropriate for some selected clients".
As it has not yet been approved by HMRC, the Blevins Franks plan does not yet appear on the regulator’s master website listing of approved QROPS plans worldwide, which last was updated on 23 August, but it is listed on the MFSA’s website alongside three Maltese companies that have been granted QROPS status.
The MFSA gave its approval to the three companies to operate as retired schemes in Malta earlier this year, following HMRC’s formal recognition last November of Malta as a jurisdiction to which UK pensions could be transferred.
As previously reported, the three QROPS schemes that have been approved in Malta are the MCT Malta Private Retirement Scheme, the Dominion Malta Retirement Plan and the Melita International Retirement Scheme Trust.
In a related development, the MFSA said that Collins Stewart (CI), Lombard Bank Malta and Blevins Franks Financial Management have been authorised as asset managers for Maltese retirement schemes.
A profile on Blevins Franks, which was established in 1975 in the UK and has some 23 offices throughout Europe, appears in the August edition of International Adviser magazine.