"The FCA’s focus is likely to be on the regulated entities who have provided advice and facilitated the transfer or switching of pensions"
The FCA is currently investigating four unauthorised firms and four unauthorised individuals in relation to financial introducers for pension products.
Answering a freedom of information request, the FCA revealed that the introducers under investigation dealt with approximately 6,000 consumers with total pension funds of £258m as of the 29th of March.
Introducer firms do not necessarily require FCA authorisation, provided that they do not offer investment advice to the consumer and instead introduce them to an FCA authorised adviser for the provision of independent financial advice.
However the FCA said that unauthorised introducers "play an instrumental role in encouraging and facilitating the transfer of pension funds".
The FCA added: "If an unauthorised introducer is offering investment advice, then they are likely to be carrying on regulated activities in contravention of the “General Prohibition” set out in section 19 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).
"However, absent evidence of unauthorised introducers acting in breach of the General Prohibition, the FCA’s focus is likely to be on the regulated entities who have provided advice and facilitated the transfer or switching of pensions. The FCA is investigating a significant number of regulated firms in this respect."