Financial Conduct Authority  

Devilish details in the FCA’s latest DB data

6 ‘Harm’ is on the up

But while the DB transfer market seemed to be moving in a positive direction, as far as the FCA is concerned, elsewhere consumer harm is moving in the opposite direction.

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The FCA said it was seeing a “concerted and conscious effort” to promote higher risk investments that were not appropriate for those being targeted as well as a rise in scams.

There were 1,542 supervisory cases opened involving scams or higher risk investments between January and October 2020, a rate the regulator said was “high” while 135 of these were opened by a specialist team focusing on pensions harm — a 24 per cent increase on said team’s cases in 2019.

Reports of unauthorised activity had also increased, from 20,300 in 2019 to 24,000 in 2020, while the 1,053 consumer alerts issued in 2020 were 82 per cent higher than the year before.

7 ‘Riskier’ products cause most complaints

Unsurprisingly, the most complained about products in pensions and investments are those that tend to be held by more consumers.

Today’s data showed that of the 131,500 investment complaints made in the first half of 2020, some 68,000 involved personal pensions, 35,000 were about Isas and nearly 18,000 were about workplace pensions.

However, when adjusting for the number of products in the market, high risk investment products tended to appear at the top of the list, way above the 2.7 complaints per 1,000 products for standard investments.

FX, CFD and spreadbetting attracted 36 complaints per 1,000 products, while there were around 20 complaints for every 1,000 peer to peer lending and structured products.

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