Pensions  

Pension transfer adviser defends free seminars

A report published by the work & pensions select committee questioned the practice and stated many of these steelworkers were "exploited for cynical personal gain by dubious financial advisers in tandem with parasitical so-called 'introducers' but there is no suggestion this was connected to Mr Webb.

But Mr Webb said he was not aware of having been reported to the FCA and he said he had not been contacted by the regulator.

He said: "The seminars that we hold are both informative and educational and extremely balanced so that any attendees leave with a far greater knowledge and the feedback we have had has been positive.

"The seminar content is very explicit regarding the guarantees you have in a final salary scheme and the risks attached to transferring so clients understand fully what they have and if they were to consider transferring what they would be giving up."

He said the seminars were launched because he had been contacted by several Jaguar Land Rover employees who were looking to transfer because they had been told if gilt yields increased then transfer values would fall, which made them concerned.

Mr Webb said that at the first meeting two Jaguar Land Rover employees decided to postpone their decision to transfer out of their pension after being told that transferring would be extremely detrimental to them.

He added that the event being free to potential clients would not put pressure on him to recommend transfers in order to recoup the cost because since launching his business in 1994 he had found clients he advised and did not charge still recommended him.

The FCA declined to comment on whether it has been asked to consider Mr Webb's advertisement.

The watchdog did not respond to questions about how advisers should go about advertising their services for defined benefit transfers, or whether it had a policy on providing free seminars.

damian.fantato@ft.com