Intelligent Pensions operates across the UK and specialises in building and managing retirement strategies, which includes offering pension transfer advice and qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (Qrops).
The FCA ordered the company to “immediately cease to provide advice in relation to the transfer, or conversion, of safeguarded benefits under a pension scheme to flexible benefits”.
When contacted by International Adviser, a company spokesperson said: “Following discussions with the FCA we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily suspend offering advice and arranging DB transfers.
“We are working with legal and compliance experts and remain confident that our recommendations and advice process deliver good outcomes for our clients and that we will be able to demonstrate this to the FCA quickly.”
The FCA did not cite any specific regulations in its order; such as a Section 166 or 55L, which have been used previously to restrict companies’ abilities to transfer pensions.
On Tuesday, IA reported that the UK IFA firm Strategic Wealth had been issued a Section 166 notice. This stops the firm conducting any pensions business until an independent expert, known as a skilled person, confirms to the regulator that a company has put in place a compliant and robust business model.
Similar action was taken against international advisory firm deVere in February.
However, Section 166 notices are not the only tool at the FCA’s disposal. The UK operations of Holborn Assets were sanctioned under section 55L of the Financial Services and Markets Act (2000).
The company was ordered to immediately cease all pension transfer business, particularly that introduced by overseas advisers.