Pension providers have expressed their dismay the FSA hasn't invited them to join IFAs at its Pension Switching Roadshow.
The seminars have already incurred the wrath of advisers who considered the regulator's heavy-handed approach to getting advisers to attend was misjudged.
Billy Mckay, marketing director at SIPP specialist A J Bell, believes providers should have been invited: "My point is a simple one in that there are three parties to any switch: the client, the adviser and the product provider," he says.
"It would seem sensible that product providers should also attend, however it would appear that it is intended for advisers only."
He also points out providers have TCF responsibilities to fulfil and therefore need to understand what is happening in the market.
Around 1,500 advisers have been summoned to attend the free roadshows hosted by the FSA.
Lesley Titcomb, director of small firms and contact division at the FSA, wrote to advisers requesting them to attend one of the half day roadshows.
She states the FSA will be carrying out assessments in the second half of this year to see if there has been any improvement in pension transfers.
The letter then states in bold print: "We are making clear that we expect all firms receiving this invitation to attend and will contact any firms who do not register."
However, Chris Geeson, managing director at Geeson Financial Services, says the letter makes him feel like he is back at school.
Geeson says he called the FSA to see if the Roadshow would be stopping at East Anglia, only to be told he would have to come to London.
"Although the Roadshow is free, my argument is that it is not," he says. "I have to pay to come up to London and pay to get to the venue. However, more importantly is the cost of my time as I will be out of the office all day. I think the whole day will cost me around £1,500."
An FSA spokesperson comments: "The firms that have been invited to the roadshows are expected to attend them. This is because it is a massively important issue and it is very important to make sure that all firms are advising and providing suitable advice when it comes to pension plans."
"We aren't running any roadshows for providers but we do recognise the provider element in the process which is why we did some work on the role of providers in the process."
To comment, contact Charlotte Banks on 0207 484 9943 or email: [email protected]
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