City watchdog ends its probe of Partnership

Caitlin Morrison
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UK PENSION provider Partnership Assurance revealed yesterday that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had ceased its investigation into the company in relation to possible breaches of the regulator’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) rules.

Partnership was notified in September 2013 that the FCA would investigate its distribution agreement with one unnamed advisory firm. At that time, the FCA said a review had found that some life insurance firms had arrangements in place which could influence advisers, contrary to the RDR’s aim of removing commission bias in financial advice.

Two companies in particular were referred to the regulator’s enforcement division, and although the FCA did not name them, one was widely reported as being Partnership. However, yesterday the company announced that no further action is to be taken by the watchdog.

Steve Groves, Partnership’s chief executive, said he was pleased with the decision and added: “As we said at the time of being notified of the investigation, we are supportive of the principles of the RDR, confident that our distribution agreements are compliant with the FCA rules and remain committed to acting in the best interests of our customers.”

Partnership’s share rose on the news but closed down 1.6 per cent yesterday.