FCA crackdowns on Holborn Assets’ UK division over pension transfers



UAE-based Holborn Assets is the latest international financial advisory firm to get caught up in a UK regulatory crackdown on pension transfers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered Holborn’s UK division to cease all regulated pension transfer business introduced by overseas advisers with immediate effect.

Holborn Assets has headquarters in Dubai, with offices in both the UK and South Africa. However, the FCA order only applies to the regulated activities of the UK entity, Holborn Assets, in providing advice to transfer clients out of safeguarded pension scheme benefits.

Simon Parker, chief operating officer of Holborn Assets in the UAE, said the FCA’s move has no relevance to the company’s UAE customers. “Holborn Assets Insurance Brokers LLC is licensed by the UAE Insurance Authority for whom its business as usual,” he said.

According to Holborn in the UAE, its UK entity Holborn Assets Limited's licence was voluntarily suspended along with over 80 other companies and during this period it was in regular contact with the FCA to agree a process for it to offer pension transfer advice again in the future.

Experts say this review was part of a sustained FCA crackdown on international advisory firms that encourage British expats to transfer money out of their UK defined benefit final salary workplace schemes, and into offshore savings and investment plans.

In February, the London-based watchdog ordered the UK arm of another international advisory firm with a strong UAE presence, deVere Group, to stop providing reports on overseas pension transfers.

A notice on the FCA website states that under section 55L of the Financial Services and Markets Act (2000) Holborn Assets in the UK must “immediately cease all regulated activity relating to pension transfer business introduced by overseas advisers”.

The ban will stay in place until it can provide independent verification via a “Skilled Person” showing a “robust and compliant advisory process is in place in respect of the pension transfer business introduced by overseas advisers”.

Holborn must show that it is “adequately identifying and managing its conflicts of interest”.

The skilled person must undertake a review of the firm’s past pension transfer business, including business introduced by both overseas and UK advisers, to see if it complies with UK regulatory standards.

Any business currently in the pipeline must not proceed if the review shows that proposed advice is “unclear or unsuitable”.

The company is also barred from making any unusual or significant payments to shareholders, employees, officers or partners without prior consent from the FCA, until the review is complete.

The FCA order covers cases where foreign advisers contact Holborn’s UK arm asking it to arrange the pension transfer out.

Mr Parker said the FCA has no jurisdiction in the UAE and the company will continue to transfer pensions and perform other services for its expat customers. “Holborn Assets UK is still very much open for business and authorised by the UK regulator,” he added.

Mr Parker said there are still excellent reasons for a British expat to transfer their pension. “However, there are also excellent reasons as to why HM Revenue & Customs wouldn’t want this to happen, as they lose huge tax revenue.”

Earlier this month, the FCA tightened rules on Britons living outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) transferring pensions to qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (Qrops).

James Badcock, partner at UK private client law firm Collyer Bristow said some transfers were legitimate but many were not. “The rules have been abused and some providers have marketed Qrops aggressively and led people to use them inappropriately.”

Geraint Davies, managing dir­ector at Montfort International, an FCA-regulated adviser in international pension transfers and taxation, said that anybody residing in the Middle East, who has transferred their UK pension to a Qrops since 2006 should contact the firm concerned and put on notice that they are contemplating a complaint for the advice process and demand a copy of all the paperwork.

“We have seen transfer after transfer which if conducted according to UK standards would never have proceeded. Many were from UK final salary schemes which have been described as unsuitable to get a sale,” he said.

Mr Davies said that any pension transfer report has to be of an extremely high standard and completely unbiased, and consider all tax, visa and currency consequences. “Since 2006, we have never seen a transfer process conducted and report issued by an overseas adviser that would meet our standards. I believe the UAE is flooded with victims,” he added.

He urged expats to shun any firm that does not charge an upfront fee for the technical pension transfer report. “It has a conflict of interest because the adviser will not get paid unless you transfer. It must be a completely independent report.”

Mr Davies added: “The FCA is clearly cracking down and is on a mission, they are getting more and more intelligence and will get more when they are contacted by potential victims. This won’t be the end. The system is broken and needs to be fixed.”

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Boulder shooting victims

• Denny Strong, 20
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• Rikki Olds, 25
• Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
• Suzanne Fountain, 59
• Teri Leiker, 51
• Eric Talley, 51
• Kevin Mahoney, 61
• Lynn Murray, 62
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RESULTS

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m

Winner Thabet Al Reef, Bernardo Pinheiro (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Blue Diamond, Pat Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Shoja’A Muscat, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner Heros De Lagarde, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

FIGHT CARD

Lightweight 10 rounds:
Bader Samreen (8-0-0) v Jose Paez Gonzales (16-2-2)

Super flyweight 10 rounds:
Sultan Al Nuaimi (9-0-0) v Jemsi Kibazange (18-6-2)

Cruiseweight 8 rounds:
Mohammed Bekdash (25-0-0) v Musa N’tege (8-4-0)

Super featherweight 8 rounds:
Bishara Sabbar (6-0-0) v Mohammed Azahar (8-5-1)

Welterweight 6 rounds:
Marwan Mohamad Madboly (2-0-0) v Sheldon Schultz (4-4-0)

Heavyweight 4 rounds:
Youssef Karrar (1-0-0) v Muhammad Muzeei (0-0-0)

Welterweight 6 rounds:
Benyamin Moradzadeh (0-0-0) v Rohit Chaudhary (4-0-2)

Featherweight 4 rounds:
Yousuf Ali (2-0-0) (win-loss-draw) v Alex Semugenyi (0-1-0)

Match info

Liverpool 3
Hoedt (10' og), Matip (21'), Salah (45+3')

Southampton 0

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Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

 

Results

5pm: Warsan Lake – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 2,200m; Winner: Dhaw Al Reef, Sam Hitchcott (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

5.30pm: Al Quadra Lake – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Mrouwah Al Gharbia, Sando Paiva, Abubakar Daud

6pm: Hatta Lake – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: AF Yatroq, George Buckell, Ernst Oertel

6.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Ashton Tourettes, Adries de Vries, Ibrahim Aseel

7pm: Abu Dhabi Championship – Listed (PA) Dh180,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Bahar Muscat, Antonio Fresu, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7.30pm: Zakher Lake – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Alfareeq, Dane O’Neill, Musabah Al Muhairi.

MATCH INFO

AC Milan v Inter, Sunday, 6pm (UAE), match live on BeIN Sports

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

Essentials

The flights

Etihad (etihad.ae) and flydubai (flydubai.com) fly direct to Baku three times a week from Dh1,250 return, including taxes. 
 

The stay

A seven-night “Fundamental Detox” programme at the Chenot Palace (chenotpalace.com/en) costs from €3,000 (Dh13,197) per person, including taxes, accommodation, 3 medical consultations, 2 nutritional consultations, a detox diet, a body composition analysis, a bio-energetic check-up, four Chenot bio-energetic treatments, six Chenot energetic massages, six hydro-aromatherapy treatments, six phyto-mud treatments, six hydro-jet treatments and access to the gym, indoor pool, sauna and steam room. Additional tests and treatments cost extra.

No more lice

Defining head lice

Pediculus humanus capitis are tiny wingless insects that feed on blood from the human scalp. The adult head louse is up to 3mm long, has six legs, and is tan to greyish-white in colour. The female lives up to four weeks and, once mature, can lay up to 10 eggs per day. These tiny nits firmly attach to the base of the hair shaft, get incubated by body heat and hatch in eight days or so.

Identifying lice

Lice can be identified by itching or a tickling sensation of something moving within the hair. One can confirm that a person has lice by looking closely through the hair and scalp for nits, nymphs or lice. Head lice are most frequently located behind the ears and near the neckline.

Treating lice at home

Head lice must be treated as soon as they are spotted. Start by checking everyone in the family for them, then follow these steps. Remove and wash all clothing and bedding with hot water. Apply medicine according to the label instructions. If some live lice are still found eight to 12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not re-treat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair using a fine-toothed comb.
After the initial treatment, check for, comb and remove nits and lice from hair every two to three days. Soak combs and brushes in hot water for 10 minutes.Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay.

Courtesy Dr Vishal Rajmal Mehta, specialist paediatrics, RAK Hospital

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

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Director: Sharat Katariya

Starring: Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma, Raghubir Yadav

3.5/5

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
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Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

COMPANY PROFILE

Founders: Sebastian Stefan, Sebastian Morar and Claudia Pacurar

Based: Dubai, UAE

Founded: 2014

Number of employees: 36

Sector: Logistics

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Playing records of the top 10 in 2017

How many games the top 10 have undertaken in the 2017 ATP season

1. Rafael Nadal 58 (49-9)

2. Andy Murray 35 (25-10)

3. Roger Federer 38 (35-3)

4. Stan Wawrinka 37 (26-11)

5. Novak Djokovic 40 (32-8)

6. Alexander Zverev 60 (46-14)

7. Marin Cilic 43 (29-14)

8. Dominic Thiem 60 (41-19)

9. Grigor Dimitrov 48 (34-14)

10. Kei Nishikori 43 (30-13)

PRISCILLA

Director: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi

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COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Kinetic 7
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Industry: Clean cooking
Funding: $10 million
Investors: Self-funded

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

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The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

The Details

Article 15
Produced by: Carnival Cinemas, Zee Studios
Directed by: Anubhav Sinha
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Zeeshan Ayyub
Our rating: 4/5 

Scorebox

Sharjah Wanderers 20-25 Dubai Tigers (After extra-time)

Wanderers

Tries Gormley, Penalty

Cons Flaherty

Pens Flaherty 2

Tigers

Tries O’Donnell, Gibbons, Kelly

Cons Caldwell 2

Pens Caldwell, Cross

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Email sent to Uber team from chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi

From: Dara

To: Team@

Date: March 25, 2019 at 11:45pm PT

Subj: Accelerating in the Middle East

Five years ago, Uber launched in the Middle East. It was the start of an incredible journey, with millions of riders and drivers finding new ways to move and work in a dynamic region that’s become so important to Uber. Now Pakistan is one of our fastest-growing markets in the world, women are driving with Uber across Saudi Arabia, and we chose Cairo to launch our first Uber Bus product late last year.

Today we are taking the next step in this journey—well, it’s more like a leap, and a big one: in a few minutes, we’ll announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Careem. Importantly, we intend to operate Careem independently, under the leadership of co-founder and current CEO Mudassir Sheikha. I’ve gotten to know both co-founders, Mudassir and Magnus Olsson, and what they have built is truly extraordinary. They are first-class entrepreneurs who share our platform vision and, like us, have launched a wide range of products—from digital payments to food delivery—to serve consumers.

I expect many of you will ask how we arrived at this structure, meaning allowing Careem to maintain an independent brand and operate separately. After careful consideration, we decided that this framework has the advantage of letting us build new products and try new ideas across not one, but two, strong brands, with strong operators within each. Over time, by integrating parts of our networks, we can operate more efficiently, achieve even lower wait times, expand new products like high-capacity vehicles and payments, and quicken the already remarkable pace of innovation in the region.

This acquisition is subject to regulatory approval in various countries, which we don’t expect before Q1 2020. Until then, nothing changes. And since both companies will continue to largely operate separately after the acquisition, very little will change in either teams’ day-to-day operations post-close. Today’s news is a testament to the incredible business our team has worked so hard to build.

It’s a great day for the Middle East, for the region’s thriving tech sector, for Careem, and for Uber.

Uber on,

Dara

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

RESULTS: 2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - EUROPE

Albania 0 Italy 1
Finland 2 Turkey 2
Macedonia 4 Liechtenstein
Iceland 2 Kosovo 0
Israel 0 Spain 1
Moldova 0 Austria 1
Serbia 1 Georgia 0
Ukraine 0 Croatia 2
Wales 0 Ireland 1

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Indoor Cricket World Cup

Venue Insportz, Dubai, September 16-23

UAE squad Saqib Nazir (captain), Aaqib Malik, Fahad Al Hashmi, Isuru Umesh, Nadir Hussain, Sachin Talwar, Nashwan Nasir, Prashath Kumara, Ramveer Rai, Sameer Nayyak, Umar Shah, Vikrant Shetty