Matthews slams “buy now” mentality

Trevor Matthews, chief executive of Friends Provident has launched a vicious attack on pension providers using the period before the implementation of the retail distribution review to maximise sales of corporate pension schemes through commission.

In a Q&A session with advisers, Matthews said: “I must say that I think some of us are quite disturbed about the ’buy-now-while-stocks-last’ activity that appears to be going on in the marketplace.

“It’s curious for me to see the companies that are selected to replace us are inevitably a list of three companies still paying initial commission. I don’t think that’s healthy for the industry and of course we don’t like it at our company”.

Nick McMenemy, director of corporate solutions at Towergate Financial London, said advisers were under pressure to deliver the most cost-efficient solution for employers.

“If I offer my clients, who are employers, four virtually identical pension schemes with virtually identical charging structures for members, fund choices, service and online propositions and three of them will allow me to own money on that scheme without charging the company a fee and the fourth one won’t, it’s a relatively easy decision for me.”