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UK regulator mulling ban on certain pension transfer charges

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said it is considering banning certain charges for pension transfers, as it published new rules on transfer advice to help consumers make informed decisions for their individual circumstances.

The FCA said it is seeking views on whether it should intervene in relation to charging structures given the difficulty in managing conflicts of interest when providing transfer advice. Such intervention could include a ban on so-called "contingent charging," in which advice is only paid for when a transfer is carried out.

Meanwhile, the new rules include requiring transfer advice to be provided as a personal recommendation taking into account a consumer's individual circumstances, and also replace the current transfer value analysis with a requirement to undertake a personalized analysis of the consumer's options and a comparison to show the value of the benefits being given up.

In addition, the FCA has also published a consulting paper proposing further changes to the new rules, including requiring pension transfer advisers to have the same qualifications as investment advisers.