FCA urges BSPS members to take action over transfer advice

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has urged British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members who were advised to transfer of out the scheme to take action if they believed the advice to be unsuitable.

Any member who was unsure if the guidance that they received was suitable should first make the complaint to the firm that provided the advice.

If, after eight weeks, the complainant does not receive a reply from the firm or does not agree with the response that they received, the FCA has encouraged them to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to refer the complaint to them.

The FCA hoped to ensure that former BSPS members “know about their rights to make a formal complaint to the FOS”.

In February 2018 it was revealed that a total of £1.1bn of DB pension savings had been transferred from the BSPS scheme after members were “shamefully bamboozled” into doing so, according to the Work and Pensions Committee.

The regulator also made it clear to the firms that receive complaints that they must keep their Personal Indemnity Insurance (PII) provider updated about any of the claims that are made to them, and that they must adhere to the terms and conditions of their PII agreement.

Offending companies are being kept under close scrutiny by the FCA, which added: “We are closely monitoring firms that are, or have been, active in this sector – particularly those that have been involved in BSPS transfers.

“We will share any further information as soon as we can.”

The FOS can award victims up to £150,00 in compensation and its decisions are legally binding.

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