Pensions  

FCA warns about fraudsters targeting Active Wealth clients

FCA warns about fraudsters targeting Active Wealth clients

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned fraudsters are contacting former clients of Active Wealth falsely claiming to be from the regulator.

The scammers are offering to help former clients claim compensation for pensions and investments mis-selling by the advice firm, which was involved in the British Steel debacle.

The FCA has been made aware a third party may have provided information about former clients of Active Wealth to another entity.

"While we are investigating this, we want to ensure that consumers are aware of the issue in case they are contacted," the regulator said.

The FCA warned consumers the fraudsters may tell individuals some of their personal information, such as date of birth or National Insurance number, "to give the impression that the communication is genuine".

"You may also be told you are entitled to a sum of money, and that the FCA needs your bank account details to make the payment," it added.

Active Wealth entered liquidation in February after the firm was told to cease any pension transfer activity by the regulator months earlier.

It was one of 10 firms which stopped giving transfer advice after they were identified as key players advising members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) to transfer out of their defined benefit pensions.

The firm had advised as many as 300 British Steel pension clients, of which 64 proceeded to transfer out of the British Steel pension scheme into alternative pension arrangements without taking further advice.

Active Wealth worked alongside unregulated introducer Celtic Wealth Management & Financial Planning, which referred the clients to the adviser.

The regulator said it would never contact members of the public asking for money or bank account details.

If an individual receives a call from someone who claims to be from the watchdog, they are advised to not provide any information, end the call and contact the regulator’s consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768 to verify whether the person is an FCA staff member.

"If you think you may have been scammed, please contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040," it concluded.

maria.espadinha@ft.com