Contingent charging – good or bad?

Article by Phil

Contingent charging continues to be in the news. Despite the FCA considering that contingent charging doesn’t actually lead to bad practice, the Work and Pensions Select Committee think otherwise and are threatening legislation to ban the practice, Under contingent charging (in the area of defined benefit pension transfers) clients only pay a fee if the advice is to transfer their pension.
The argument is that this means that it’s only in advisers interests to recommend transfers even if it isn’t in the clients best interests. I understand the argument, but that also means that advisers would deliberately give clients the wrong advice. This is surely counterproductive and would be found out in the long run. Perhaps I am naïve?
However, the Work and Pensions Select Committee might well be missing a counter argument which could create even more consumer detriment. If contingent charging is banned then everyone will have to pay for advice, even if that advice is not to transfer and to leave things as they are. In the current environment these clients tend to get screened out at the initial meeting, but if this is the only way to charge clients then it’s quite e easy to see how lots of individuals could end up paying for advice that they didn’t need.
So as always its never quite black and white.
We offer both contingent and straightforward fee based charging.

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