Skandia to push ahead with Honister bulk transfers
Skandia plans to go ahead with its plan to accept bulk transfers of Honister advisers despite a warning from IFA firm MacRobins, which has acquired the recurring commission streams of advisers from the failed network, about possible legal ramifications of such a move.
Earlier today (14 August) MacRobins issued a statement warning there were “legal considerations” to facilitating bulk transfers and that both it and the administrator Grant Thornton had been in contact with firms that had issued termination notices with a view to transferring clients.
The corporate IFA added that without access to back-office systems, commissions could be transferred to the wrong advisers or firms and that this could cause breaches of duty owed to Honister by appointed representatives.
A spokesperson for Skandia said that the firm was not aware of any legal threats to its plans and that it was going ahead with the transfers, adding that its agreements with Honister businesses ended when the firm went into administration.
The spokesperson said: “We are not aware of any threatened legal proceedings against Skandia in relation to this issue.
“Our terms of business with Sage Financial Services and Burns Anderson terminated when the Honister group went into administration and all outstanding commission payable under those terms has been paid.”
Standard Life said it too was planning to continue with its plans to facilitate bulk traansfers for Honister advisers, as long as it did not contravene any breaches of duty owed by the relevant advisers to the failed firm.
A Standard Life spokesperson said: “We consider that our approach is supportive of the advisers of Honister and in the best interest of our customers and that approach remains unchanged.
“We will deal directly with the individual advisers to accept bulk transfer requests on the condition it does not breach any restriction, obligation or duty owed by them to Honister or any of its subsidiaries.
“We will correspond directly with any party which has concerns about our approach.”
Several other providers stated that they were unable to comment on the statement issued earlier, with some citing a confidentiality clause in letters that have been sent to providers.
Aviva issued a statement to FTAdviser that said it could neither confirm nor deny that it would proceed with bulk transfers as planned, but said its legal department was considering the situation.
A spokesperson for Aviva said: “Our main objective has been to support advisers at this difficult time. We continue to review all communication on this matter and are monitoring the situation closely.”
Other product providers who have come forward saying they will accept bulk transfers from the collapsed Honister network include Aegon and Fidelity, neither of which were able to comment at time of writing.