Defined Benefit  

War of words erupts between steelworkers' pension advisers

He said: "I've had a meeting with my MP, Eddie Hughes, and following discussions with my solicitor and the [Financial Conduct Authority] FCA, I can only see further attacks on me personally.

"While I can handle this legally, the knock-on effect to clients who have used us is huge and not considered.

"I have had a lot of support from clients in South Wales who have been using us for the last five years and it is not fair upon them that nothing is being done to stop the fanning of the flames, therefore I need to stop this in any way."

Mr Reynolds also revealed that he met with more than 300 potential clients' members of the British Steel scheme, from which approximately a third decided to transfer out.

Mr Field has now written back to Mr Howells and Mr Reynolds, putting a series of questions to them, to which he expects a response by 8 January, when the House of Commons returns from recess.

Mr Field said: "Transferring out of a gold plated final salary pension is generally a terrible idea, except in very particular circumstances. Firms that are routinely advising people to take this route should be shut out of taking this type of business.

"I am very interested to hear the 'particular circumstances' that justify the advice Active Wealth gave, which they tell us resulted in around 100 members transferring out of the BSPS before they were stopped, and the total fees they have received for this wisdom."

Mr Field also argued that he is interested to hear what benefits these unregulated introducers think they offer to clients besides chicken - or as Celtic Wealth insists, sausages - and chips lunches.

maria.espadinha@ft.com