Pensions  

Field bashes FSCS over steelworker claims

Field bashes FSCS over steelworker claims

The chairman of the Work and Pensions select committee has urged the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to reassess its position on the compensation available to British Steel Pension Scheme members.

Earlier this week the FSCS announced scheme members will not receive a reduced discount rate for compensation calculations in claims relating to liquidated advice firm Active Wealth.

But Frank Field urged the body to re-think its decision, suggesting the maximum possible compensation should be made available to scheme members.

He said: "British steelworkers were roundly failed by the official regulators meant to protect their life savings.  

"They were given precious little to guide them through murky waters filled with scammers looking to snatch their pensions – scammers who had little to fear from the FCA’s grossly inadequate action at the time.

"Now it seems they are being sold short again on what even the FCA calls 'rightly' deserved compensation."

The FSCS had been reconsidering its method of calculation following proposed changes at a parliamentary meeting in November, which if implemented could have seen steelworkers receive the maximum compensation awarded by the scheme of £50,000.

Mr Field claimed the FCA had defended the scheme members and urged the FSCS to be "more generous" in its application of the rules applied to calculation methodology.

He added: "British Steel pensioners deserve more than tinkering around the edges — at the very least, they should be given the maximum possible compensation for the grievous losses they have suffered. The FSCS must think again."

The FSCS had announced earlier this month it had agreed to revisit claims based on out-of-date values and to take into account previous annual adviser charges, ultimately satisfying two of the three proposed changes initially suggested in November’s meeting.

rachel.addison@ft.com