IFAs to form part of Hartley Pensions exit charge committee

IFAs to form part of Hartley Pensions exit charge committee

Hartley Pensions’ administrators have said they will form “an informal committee” of interested parties to assist them in weighing up client interests with regards to the 'exit and administration charge'.

Back in March, the Financial Conduct Authority told Sipp provider Hartley it could no longer accept new clients and a restriction was placed on new business.

In August, Hartley entered administration.

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Towards the end of last year, Hartley director Tony Flanagan accused the FCA of "aggressively" pursuing a policy that would harm members' pensions.

The regulator, alongside the administrators, then hit out at the director, accusing him of sharing "factual inaccuracies" with clients.

Administrator at UHY Hacker Young, Peter Kubrik, told clients in a letter sent earlier this week (January 12) that they will invite regulatory bodies, independent financial advisers and a selection of clients to join the committee.

Proposed committee members will be approached directly in the coming days, according to the letter.

A full list of committee members will be published on the administrators’ website once formed.

The administrators intend to share further information on the 'exit and administration charge' and the court application with members.

The application will confirm whether or not administrators can validly apply the charge.

“The clients who we invite will be clients who we believe represent a broad spread of interests in the various models which could potentially be used to calculate and administer the 'exit and administration charge,” said Kubrik.

“The principal purpose of the committee will be to consult with the joint administrators so as to ensure that all potential considerations have been taken into account when deciding on the fairest possible manner in which to calculate and administer the 'exit and administration charge'.”

The committee is also being set up to assist the joint administrators in identifying who can represent clients in the court application. They will be supported by independent legal advisers sourced by the administrators.

“The cost of these independent advisers will be borne by Hartley with the intention that the costs will be covered by the court application which will be explained further in due course,” Kubrik said.

“In the first instance, the representatives will be selected from the committee.”