Partnership Life Assurance Company, part of the Partnership Assurance Group, has confirmed it is the subject of a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigation into potentially unsuitable distribution deals with advisory firms.
The regulator has appointed investigators to scrutinise a 'distribution services agreement' it has in place with with one advisory firm, the group confirmed on Friday.
Partnership made clear the opening of the investigation does not mean it has been found guilty of any wrongdoing.
The investigation will seek to determine whether the company has contravened the FCA's rules, including changes introduced by the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).
On Wednesday, the FCA said it had uncovered evidence of unsuitable marketing and distribution deals agreed between insurance companies and advisory groups.
The deals may represent commission - outlawed since the start of the year - by another name, the FCA said. Two unnamed firms faced enforcement action as a result, it added.
As part of its RDR programme, Partnership said it undertook a review of its distribution services agreements to ensure they remained compliant under the new rules. This included taking independent legal advice on the agreement under investigation and other significant distribution services agreements.
The company said it was "fully aware" of its obligations under the rules and is supportive of the principles underpinning RDR.
It added it "welcomes the opportunity to engage with the FCA in respect of this particular agreement and will cooperate fully with the investigation".
Shares in Partnership dropped 7.2% on Thursday following a report in the Financial Times that the retirement group was one of the two firms facing enforcement action related to inducements.
The newspaper also noted that in its IPO prospectus - the group floated in London in June - Partnership said distribution channels could be "adversely affected" if regulators were to "consider that any of the agreements the group has in place with distributors . . . are at risk of non-compliance with [their] interpretation of the rules, or the spirit of, the RDR."
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