According to a statement on the FCA website, deVere UK was ordered to “immediately cease” providing third party companies with transfer value analysis (TVAS) reports or other similar reports of information “designed to assist third parties companies in transferring customers DB pensions to an alternative arrangement”.
The deVere spokesperson said the company had “entered into a voluntary requirement to cease providing advice in this arena” and is working “alongside the FCA’s appointed independent body through the section 166”.
The international advisory company was issued with a section 166 or ‘skilled person review’ by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and said it “fully supports and welcomes the review”.
Section 166 gives the UK regulator the power to obtain a view from a third party “about aspects of a regulated firm’s activities” if they are concerned or want further analysis.
“We are confident that there has been no detriment to clients."
The deVere spokesperson said: “We are confident that there has been no detriment to clients, and there have been no client complaints.
“DeVere UK, in complying with the new FCA requirements, worked with divisions within deVere in seeking to represent clients’ interests cross border. No advice or information was provided to any other third party company.
“Working with the FCA, we have taken decisive steps to ensure our clients’ best interests have been served.”
When contacted, a spokesperson for the FCA told IA the regulator could not comment on individual firms.
The deVere review comes at a time when the company has no managing director, following the resignation of Mike Coady in early December 2016.
Coady has since joined rival firm Guardian Wealth Management as chief commercial officer.
His successor at deVere UK is yet to be announced.
The news also comes just days after it was revealed the FCA is specifically investigating overseas pension transfers over concerns they were being used for investment fraud.
Last week, the watchdog issued a stark warning to firms advising on domestic and international pension transfers after reports that some clients are being scammed or their funds transferred into unsuitable investments.
Bait and switch
One industry source told IA that the FCA had been looking into UK overseas defined benefit (DB) pension transfers via Dubai by more than one international financial advisory firm.
In one instance, a client was reportedly offered an offshore pension scheme where the funds were to be invested in a portfolio of low-cost exchange traded funds (ETFs).
However, the money was ultimately invested in a Mauritius-based fund that paid high up front indemnity commission.