FCA to take 'firm action' against misleading BSPS redress offers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has identified 15 new firms who have engaged in misconduct regarding British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) pension scheme members.

The authority announced last month that it would be looking into reports of firms making unsolicited offers to former BSPS members and warned that such offers could constitute a “deliberate attempt” to exclude former members from participating in its redress scheme.

In an update, the FCA stated that it was “concerned” that the challenge was an attempt to exclude former BSPS members from the redress scheme, binding them to receiving less money than they might otherwise be entitled to under the scheme.

The authority additionally stated: “This type of behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will take firm action to put a stop to this sharp practice”.

The FCA stated that, in addition to its expectations for firms laid out in its original news story in January, firms should withdraw any existing unsolicited settlement offers pending any consumer agreement, stop making further unsolicited offers to former BSPS members who have not made complaints, and treat any pending unsolicited settlement offers as withdrawn.

Additionally, the FCA warned that, if former BSPS members accept a redress offer now it might mean they are not included in the scheme and may not receive the right amount of redress.

This update also follows a legal challenge to the BSPS’s redress scheme that was made by a number of pension advisory firms who are members of the British Steel Action Group, which the FCA described as an “attempt to delay the payment of redress”.

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