FCA INVESTIGATE ZOMBIE FUNDS
The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) board accepts the concerns of the market regarding recent press coverage … The board will conduct an investigation into the FCA’s handling of the issue involving an external law firm, and will share the outcome of this work in due course.”
Earlier in the day, the FCA confirmed that it would begin an investigation into zombie funds this summer as part of a wider inquiry into the possible mistreatment of longstanding customers. It came a week after George Osborne dealt a blow to the £14bn-a-year annuity market by declaring in the budget that pension savers would be able to do what they liked with their cash from next year.
The centrepiece of the FCA inquiry is likely to be millions of pension and investment policies sold in the 1980s and 1990s, in which savers are allegedly trapped by penalty charges of 10%-12% and, in some cases, more than 20% if they want to move their money. Many were sold by salespeople who earned commission of £1,500 to £2,000 a policy, with the first two years of contributions by savers sometimes taken out as charges, followed by annual charges of as much as 4% a year.