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Holborn Assets Drives New Standards in Pensions Advice

Holborn Assets Drives New Standards in Pensions Advice

- Family-run financial services firm achieves 'Pension Transfer Gold Standard' in the UK as testament to quality of service and advice

- Gold Standard acknowledges the firm's regulatory framework and pension transfer processes

PR Newswire

DUBAI, UAE, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Holborn Assets has received the prestigious Pension Transfer Gold Standard award as a symbol of its commitment to providing clients with the highest standards of service and advice regarding Defined Benefit (DB) pension transfers.

This reflects continued efforts by the global financial services firm to:

  • Continually improve its regulatory framework
  • Upgrade its DB pension transfer process
  • Ensure transparency and regulatory compliance

To earn the Pension Transfer Gold Standard, Holborn Assets' UK business passed a rigorous assessment process that scrutinised its advisory processes, system functions and paperwork.

Holborn is one of a small number of firms in the UK to have adopted the Pensions Advice Taskforce's (PAT) Pension Transfer Gold Standard. This industry body was set up by the Personal Finance Society (PFS),  whose role is to promote high standards of professionalism as well as ethical behaviour and excellent client service for the benefit of consumers seeking professional financial advice. The industry-backed initiative aims to provide a robust standard that complies with rules set out by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

"At Holborn Assets UK we constantly strive to improve how we deliver our service, meeting the highest standards possible," said Chris Wicks, Managing Director. 'Our Pension Transfer Gold Standard status proves that our team of experienced advisers develop their technical skills to meet and exceed our customers' expectations."

What is the Pension Transfer Gold Standard?

The Gold Standard is a voluntary code of good practice for safeguarded and Defined Benefit (DB) pension transfer advice, based around a set of nine principles[i].

It aims to raise customer confidence in the financial industry and to encourage firms to be open and transparent when supporting clients who want to transfer their pensions.

Firms can adopt and promote these principles to consumers better understand and find good advice. Ultimately, this increases their confidence that they are dealing with a firm that exceeds minimum requirements when giving financial advice.

Improving its regulatory framework

A key ingredient of Holborn Assets' success for more than 20 years has been building strong client relationships. The Gold Standard recognises this focus on winning clients' trust by adding new, innovative services and improving defined processes, especially those related to regulatory frameworks and fund security. 

Upgrading its DB pension transfer process

Holborn Assets is also proud to announce that an audit by compliance consultant ATEB, showed the firm's DB pension transfer process has surpassed expectations due to its commitment to transparency and regulatory compliance.

ATEB's report noted: "Holborn Assets has clearly adopted a proactive approach towards compliance, and this is reflected within the changes that have been made. There has been a clear shift by the firm both in terms of culture and wider systems and processes, resulting in high-quality file checking outcomes. It is noted that the firm has cooperated fully with both the regulator and ATEB in a positive manner to enhance processes and controls."

Robert Parker, CEO of Holborn Assets, said that ATEB's report is proof that over two years of development work with ATEB and the FCA had paid off. "We remain focused on becoming the number-one company for DB pension transfer advice in the UK."

Added Simon Parker, COO and Board Director of Holborn Assets: "The updated process provides a structure for suitable advice and ensures there is step-by-step guidance which all staff members and advisers understand. The overall objective of this process is to ensure only suitable advice is provided and that any issues are captured and addressed before the case is finalised. We robustly consider all options available to the client before arriving at the final option, and a transfer is only recommended when it is in our client's best interests."

About Holborn Assets

Established in 1998, Holborn Assets is a leading global financial services company delivering a superior experience to our circa 20,000 clients, via our 11 international offices.

A British family-owned and operated business, Holborn Assets has over 450 employees worldwide, including 200 financial advisers. Committed to delivering the best possible service, each adviser is trained and qualified to United Kingdom standards with many holding qualifications from the UK's Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) or Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI).

[i] The nine principles of the Gold Standard:

  • Helping clients understand when advice is appropriate
  • Ensuring advice given supports the clients' overall wellbeing in the context of their stated objectives
  • Ensuring client understanding and acceptance of all charges
  • Ensuring the most appropriate and updated technical skills are applied
  • Transparent management of Conflicts of Interest
  • Helping clients understanding the cost of transferring benefits
  • Avoiding unregulated investments and introducers
  • Transparency in advice processes and outcomes
  • Promoting the Consumer Guide to the Pension Transfer Gold Standard

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