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FCA warning: Pensions providers must comply with competition law

Last year the (Financial Conduct Authority) FCA gained powers to enforce against competition law breaches in the context of financial services. As part of its Retirement Income market study the FCA reviewed a number of distribution arrangements and strategies of different personal pension providers looking for potential competition law infringements.

For the first time, the FCA sent letters similar to those sent out by Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to various firms putting them on notice regarding potential breaches of competition law. The FCA is asking firms to confirm the actions they plan to take to address any competition law concerns.

What does this mean for pension provider firms?

Following the review, the FCA will expect firms to:

  • Establish competition compliance programs to prevent  inadvertently exchanging commercially sensitive information with competitor firms
  • Review their existing policies and procedures to ensure ongoing competition law compliance
  • Provide competition law training to key staff
  • Assess their existing distribution arrangements for competition law compliance

To discuss the implications of the Retirement Market income study for your firm please contact Noline Matemera, partner in TLT’s Financial Services Regulation team or Dimitris Sinaniotis, associate in TLT’s Competition team.

Contributor: Dimitris Sinaniotis 

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at March 2016. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.

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