To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when due diligence was last undertaken by his Department on (a) St James' Place, (b) St James' Place Academy and (c) any personnel involved in that military network; and if he will publish the report on such due diligence.
10 February 2021
Defence has no specific arrangement with St James's Place (SJP) beyond maintaining a routine relationship through Defence Relationship Management, as we do with all signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant. SJP are also used as one of the two companies who provide independent financial advisors to support the Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) Briefs, alongside the Forces Pension Society.
There has been one complaint made to Defence regarding SJP, in which the Department was not qualified nor permitted to investigate or intervene on the specific matters raised regarding SJP's relationship with a single individual. That individual was advised to the raise their complaint with the appropriate regulatory authorities. Right Management Ltd and the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) do not recommend particular employers; Service leavers are supported in finding opportunities which are relevant to, and suitable for, their personal circumstances.
SJP is one of the two companies which supports the FAR Briefs. The presentation materials are the property of these stakeholders and would not be published by Defence for this reason. The MOD does not use St James' Place Academy to conduct presentation or briefings as part of the CTP. SJP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Department has conducted 'secret shopper' activities on four separate FAR briefs over the past year and had no cause for concern over the content being delivered. The FAR briefing package (Pensions and Financial Advice) is currently undergoing review. This may see a change in format and providers and is being done to standardise Assurance and Governance procedures across CTP, rather than as a result of any concern over the material delivered.