Information from the Pension Review that took place in the 1990's

The request was partially successful.

Dear The Financial Conduct Authority,

Sirs,

I am making a "Freedom of Information" request in respect to the pension mis-selling "scandal" where Financial Advisors were encouraging individuals to transfer from there Company final salary pensions into much riskier Personal schemes. This was investigated by the Regulator (PIA/FSA) during the 1980's and 1990's.

I am asking for the disclosure of several pieces of information from that Pensions Review. The information I would like is as follows:

1. The date that the Regulator first initiated the review of those individuals who had been sold personal pensions that were funded by a transfer from a Company defined benefit scheme
2. The earliest and latest start dates of pensions that were investigated
3. The number of individual cases reviewed to determine if their pensions had been mis-sold
4. The number of individuals that received compensation for mis-selling as a consequence of this review
5. Of the individuals compensated the proportion that were within 5 years of their normal retirement date
6. Of the individuals compensated the number that were between 5 and 10 years of their normal retirement date
7. Of the individuals compensated the number that were more than 10 years from their normal retirement date
8. The number of individuals that complained about the amount of compensation
9. The number of individuals that complained about the method of remedy (i.e. a lump sum payment made to their pension fund)
10. The number of individuals that have received further compensation as a consequence of their complaint in point numbers 8/9 above
11. The number of cases brought to the attention of the Regulator in the past 5 years of individuals who received compensation but having retired or nearing retirement better understand their loss

Yours faithfully,

Anthony Cooper

The Financial Conduct Authority

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Freedom of Information, The Financial Conduct Authority

1 Attachment

Our Ref: FOI3573

 

 

Dear Mr Cooper

 

Freedom of Information: Right to know request

 

We refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the
Act) for

information relating to the FSA’s Pensions Review.  A summary of your
request is shown in Annex A.

 

Your request has now been considered and I confirm that we hold some
information which falls within the scope of your request.  With regard to
point 1, SIB and the retail self-regulating organisations (SROs) undertook
a systematic survey of a sample of recorded advice on pension transfers
in 1993 and the results of this work, along with other evidence which
gave rise to cause for concern, prompted it to announce, in December
1993, that it was setting up a Regulators' Steering Group to make
recommendations on the standards which should apply both to the future
conduct of investment business in the area of pension transfers and opt
outs and to reviews of past cases. 

 

For further information on this please see the document attached:

[1]http://www.betterregulation.com/external...

 

With regard to point 2 of your request, we have interpreted this to mean
the earliest and latest start dates of the actual pensions, as opposed to
advice given, and on that basis we do not hold the information you have
requested for this point.

 

Turning to points 3, 4 and 11, we estimate that complying with these
points would exceed the 18 hour time limit.  This is because we hold a
large volume of information relating to the Pensions Review but it is not
held in an easily extractable format.  We would need to review and assess
all the material we hold in order to extract the specific information you
have requested.  On that basis we consider that Section 12 (Costs of
compliance exceeds appropriate limit) of the Act applies.  For a detailed
explanation as to why these exemptions apply please also refer to Annex B.

 

That said, you might find this link helpful as some information contained
here relates to, but does not answer, points 3 and 4 of your request:
[2]http://www.fsa.gov.uk/library/communicat...

 

Finally, we do not hold the information you have requested for the
remaining points of your request (points 5 –10). This is because we did
not collect this information as part of the Pensions Review.  However, the
Financial Ombudsman Service might hold this kind of information about
complaints it has received from consumers. The link to the FOS website is:
[3]http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Information Access Team

Financial Conduct Authority

 

Your right to complain under the FoI Act

 

If you are unhappy with the decision made in relation to your request, you
have the right to request an internal review.  If you wish to exercise
this right you should contact us within three months of the date of this
response.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you also
have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
5AF. Telephone: 01625 545 700. Website: [4]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

 

Annex A

 

“I am asking for the disclosure of several pieces of information from that
Pensions Review. The information I would like is as follows:

 

 1. The date that the Regulator first initiated the review of those
individuals who had been sold personal pensions that were funded by a
transfer from a Company defined benefit scheme.

 

 2. The earliest and latest start dates of pensions that were
investigated.

 

 3. The number of individual cases reviewed to determine if their pensions
had been mis-sold.

 

 4. The number of individuals that received compensation for mis-selling
as a consequence of this review.

 

 5. Of the individuals compensated the proportion that were within 5 years
of their normal retirement date.

 

 6. Of the individuals compensated the number that were between 5 and 10
years of their normal retirement date.

 

 7. Of the individuals compensated the number that were more than 10 years
from their normal retirement date.

 

 8. The number of individuals that complained about the amount of
compensation.

 

 9. The number of individuals that complained about the method of remedy
(i.e. a lump sum payment made to their pension fund).

 

10. The number of individuals that have received further compensation as a
consequence of their complaint in point numbers 8/9 above.

 

11. The number of cases brought to the attention of the Regulator in the
past 5 years of individuals who received compensation but having
retired or nearing retirement better understand their loss.”

 

 

 

Annex B

 

 

·                 Section 12 (Costs of compliance exceeds appropriate
limit)

 

We are not required to comply with a request under the Act if it would be
too expensive to do so, as estimated in accordance with the Freedom of
Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations
2004 (“the Regulations”) made by the Ministry of Justice.  The Regulations
provide that, for the FCA, the cost limit is £450, i.e. 18 hours at the
rate of £25 per person per hour.  The Regulations allow us to take into
account, when estimating the cost of complying with a request, time spent
determining whether we hold the information requested, locating and
retrieving it and extracting the information from the relevant
document(s).

 

As you will appreciate the FCA holds a considerable volume of material in
connection with the Pension Review. We have considered whether it is
possible for us to search the materials we hold using specific search
criteria.   In this context, we conservatively estimate that it would take
well in excess of 18 hours to undertake this exercise and exceed the £450
limit.  Since our policy is not to divert our resources from our
regulatory functions in order to meet requests under the Act in excess of
the cost limit, we will not be able to carry out this exercise.

 

When we refuse a request because the appropriate limit has been exceeded,
it is our general policy to provide advice and assistance to the applicant
to indicate how the request could be refined or limited to come within the
cost limit. In this case, we have approached the FCA business area most
likely to hold this information.  However, due to the volume of
information that we have identified in relation to your request, we are
unable to suggest how your request could be refined or limited to come
within the cost limit. This is because any refinement that we suggest is
still likely to result in same consideration.

                             

In reaching the conclusion that your request exceeds the appropriate cost
limit we have not considered whether any other exemptions apply. 

 

 

 

Associate / Information Access Team / Finance and Operations

[5]Description: Description: FCA_

Financial Conduct Authority

25 The North Colonnade

Canary Wharf

London

E14 5HS

 

Tel:    +44 (0)20 7066 8080

[6]www.fca.org.uk

 

 

 

This communication and any attachments contains information which is
confidential and may be subject to legal privilege. It is for intended
recipients only. If you are not the intended recipient you must not copy,
distribute, publish, rely on or otherwise use it without our consent. Some
of our communications may contain confidential information which it could
be a criminal offence for you to disclose or use without authority. If you
have received this email in error please notify [email address]
immediately and delete the email from your computer.

 

The FCA reserves the right to monitor all email communications for
compliance with legal, regulatory and professional standards.

 

This email is not intended to nor should it be taken to create any legal
relations or contractual relationships. This email has originated from

 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

25 The North Colonnade,

Canary Wharf,

London

E14 5HS

United Kingdom

 

Registered as a Limited Company in England and Wales No.1920623.

Registered Office as above

 

Switchboard: 020 7066 1000

Web Site: http://www.fca.org.uk

*****************************************************************

References

Visible links
1. http://www.betterregulation.com/external...
2. http://www.fsa.gov.uk/library/communicat...
3. http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/
6. http://www.fca.org.uk/