Public Accounts Committee launches inquiry into BSPS advice and redress

The Public Accounts Committee has launched an inquiry and supporting call for evidence into the handling of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), and plans to support steelworkers who might be entitled to redress.

As part of its inquiry, the committee will question the chief executives of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) on the activities that the regulator has undertaken to regulate financial advice in the BSPS case.

The regulators will also be questioned on plans for supporting steelworkers who may be entitled to redress, and the extent to which compensation is being delivered, having recently confirmed that plans to consult on a BSPS compensation scheme by the end of March 2022.

The BSPS was restructured in 2018, with members given set options for what to do with their pension pot, resulting in around 7,700 members, representing around £2.8bn of funds, transferring their pension.

However, whilst many of these members received independent financial advice, the FCA has since suggested that nearly half (47 per cent) of the advice given to members was unsuitable, while the FSCS received over 1,000 claims from former BSPS members.

The launch of the inquiry also comes hot on the heels of a report from the National Audit Office, which concluded that members were "failed" by the system, with some of those who transferred out suffering significant financial losses due to unsuitable advice.

The call for evidence closes on 20 April.

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