FCA has welcomed action several pension providers have taken to review and strengthen their competition compliance. FCA had contacted firms to better understand specific competition concerns and reviewed distribution agreements and minutes of meetings related to the performance of those agreements. FCA found some of the meetings to be operating without any competition compliance protocol to prevent the disclosure of commercially sensitive information. For the first time, FCA used its powers to send letters to firms putting them on notice for potential infringements of competition law and subsequently met with them to discuss its concerns. The firms concerned have instigated initiatives to strengthen competition compliance, including:

  • reviewing and self-assessing the relevant, and any similar, arrangements;
  • introducing and/or reviewing and updating their competition compliance protocols; and
  • ensuring that all key staff receive competition law training, and that this is regularly reviewed and updated.

FCA also encourages other firms to review their distribution and marketing arrangements to ensure that they comply with competition law. In particular, when engaging with actual or potential competition, firms should take care not to disclose any commercially sensitive information. (Source: FCA welcomes pension review to strengthen competition compliance)