We want to improve the experience for clients by improving products that help the vulnerable and that are also accessible to all.
We set out below a summary of progress and initiatives for our material issues:
We have a wide reach of clients, and for some of the scheme members where we provide administration services some may be vulnerable.
Our Scam Service has been created to protect the needs of pensioners and to create better outcomes for clients. Another example of sustainable development is providing information in an accessible format for scheme members who are visually impaired.
Leading the industry with our scam prevention services
We first introduced our scam service in 2015 as a direct response to concerns for clients about the increasing risk to their members. Our approach is to speak with the member over the telephone. This increases the chances that the information provided is robust and that any suspicious activity is identified. It is an additional layer of protection for members and can be bolted onto any existing administration service.
- Is built on (and has contributed to) the Combating Pension Scams Code of Good Practice, published by the Pension Scams Industry Group (PSIG).
- Enables trustees to meet the due diligence requirements of The Pension Regulator’s pledge.
- Identifies whether one or more of 45 possible scam red flags exist for each pension transfer.
- Identifies red flags that may not be discovered through the use of paperwork alone.
- The service supports trustees (where required) to undertake necessary follow on investigation and action, including engagement with the member.
1,600Cases with red flags
£345mOf pension transfers protected
We are proud to be a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). We have committed to uphold the six principles of the PRI and to be held accountable.
We work with our clients to incorporate their specific requirements on responsible and sustainable investing. XPS believes that taking a sustainable approach will be of growing importance for many of our clients and to assist them we are awarding funds a ‘sustainable’ designation where the fund demonstrates the right combination of attributes.
Our vision is to offer clients an independently vetted sustainable choice across all asset classes.
Helping the industry get better at ESG
Background: We rated an investment manager’s fund highly on all aspects except ESG where it failed (being rated Red) because the manager had failed to incorporate ESG factors adequately into their processes.
What did we do: We gave our feedback to the investment manager, explaining why the fund had not met our requirements and would not be recommended to our clients. Following this feedback, the Chairman and senior portfolio managers of the investment management house asked to meet with us to understand what, in our view, ‘good’ looked like and actively sought our thoughts on how this could be improved.
Improvement: We researched the manager again a year later about a different fund and we discovered that the manager has improved dramatically in ESG risk management across the business. Further, ESG issues featured prominently at their investment conference that year demonstrating the knock-on impact of our work.
“It is critical to us and our members that we invest in a transparent and responsible manner, which XPS recognise and are committed to helping us achieve. They have listened and demonstrate that they understand our aspirations, beliefs and the Trustees’ desire to provide financial wellness for our members. The strategic advice that XPS has provided has been pragmatic, clear, thought-provoking and comprehensive.”
TfL Savings for Retirement Plan, Chair of Trustees
We also demonstrate our commitment through participation in various industry initiatives as below.
We embed information security within our culture. We do this by implementing effective policies and technical controls to safeguard our customers’ information.
We also focus on data privacy and being transparent about how and where we are using client data. Data is one of our most valuable assets and we must ensure that the information we hold is accurate, secure and managed appropriately.
A central part of our staff training is the ever-growing threat of cyber-attacks and the logistical, reputational, and financial damage this can cause. Because our employees are our first line of defence in protecting client, employee and corporate information, we have regular communication for staff awareness. This policy applies to all staff and contractors, all of whom receive compulsory training.