The UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has luanched an investigation into Quilter's Lighthouse subsidiary after allegations the wealth manager breached rules governing defined benefit (DB) pension transfers.
Lighthouse Advisory Services, which was bought by Quilter Financial Planning in 2019, is continuing to give defined benefit (DB) transfer advice despite the FCA's ongoing investigation into its DB work.
In a statement on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) posted on 5 June, Quilter said: "The FCA is investigating whether Lighthouse has breached certain FCA requirements in connection with advising on and arranging DB pension transfers in the period from 1 April 2015 to 30 April 2019."
DB pension transfer advice can be the single most important piece of advice that clients can receive and so it is important that regulation around it is clear and the FCA's package of reforms is necessary."
Despite the ongoing investigation by the FCA, Lighthouse is still advising on DB transfers. Quilter, which bought the firm in June 2019 for £46.2m, confirmed this to Professional Adviser (a sister title to II): "Lighthouse is still advising on DB transfers and is doing so according to Quilter Financial Planning's processes and through Quilter Financial Planning's compliance teams, which includes an independent review of the proposed advice prior to issuing it to clients. This process is now being reviewed to take into account the FCA's announcements."
Paul Feeney, CEO of Quilter, said: "DB pension transfer advice can be the single most important piece of advice that clients can receive and so it is important that regulation around it is clear and the FCA's package of reforms is necessary. Quilter is committed to good customer outcomes and we will look to implement any necessary changes to our current process."
Lighthouse has had around 40 complaints filed against it, the FCA said.