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FCA investigation into five providers continues

The FCA is continuing its investigations over how five pension providers are treating their closed-book customers.

In an update this morning, the regulator said that while it had closed its investigations into Police Mutual, it still had Scottish Widows, Prudential, Old Mutual, Abbey Life and Countrywide Assured under its spotlight.

The six providers were referred to FCA enforcement as part of a review last year in which the regulator expressed concerns over how closed-book customers risked being treated unfairly by being kept in high-charging, badly performing products.

In particular, the FCA was worried that customers were not being given enough information about exit charges or other fees, that products were reviewed sufficiently, and some firms’ management “do not have a grasp of closed-book customers and outcomes”.

The closed-book review gained notoriety when, at an early stage in 2014, a pre-briefing to The Telegraph led to inaccurate information about its scope, wiping millions off providers’ share prices.

The FCA’s statement this morning says that no decisions had yet been taken with regard to the remaining five firms in the review.

It reads: “No inferences should be drawn from the closure of the Police Mutual case concerning the continuing investigations. The FCA will update the market when decisions are made regarding the status of the remaining investigations.”

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