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FCA to meet with steelworkers in September

FCA to meet with steelworkers in September

The Financial Conduct Authority will travel to Swansea next month to meet steelworkers who could be due compensation after receiving unsuitable advice to transfer out of their pension scheme.

The City watchdog is being joined by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and or MoneyHelper to hold one-to-one sessions for those who transferred out of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).

The sessions will take place from 28 to 30 September at the Mercure Hotel in Swansea.

According to the FCA, the one-to-one appointments will provide “free, in-person and confidential help”. 

Steelworkers will be able to find out more about what the advice process should have looked like and how to make a complaint or claim, as well as get answers to their pension questions. 

The FCA’s booking system for these sessions will open shortly and all former BSPS members local to this event will be written to inviting them to attend.

Last week, it was said that the advice industry could face a compensation bill of between a quarter and a third of a billion pounds for BSPS transfers, even with steelworkers not being fully compensated for poor advice.

Philippa Hann, partner at law firm Clarke Wilmott and the solicitor representing some of the British Steel workers, said her firm is acting against 90 advice firms, many of which do not have sufficient professional indemnity insurance in place.

The regulator has also called on members of the scheme to come forward to check if they are eligible to make a claim.

The BSPS case

Three years ago British Steel Pension Scheme members were asked to decide whether to move their DB pension to a new plan, BSPS2, or stay in the existing fund, which was then moved to the PPF as part of a restructuring of pension liabilities, or to transfer out altogether.

As a result about 8,000 members transferred out of the old scheme, with transfers collectively worth about £2.8bn.

But concerns about the suitability of the transfers were soon raised, leading to an intervention from the FCA that resulted in a number of advice firms – key players in the debacle – stopping their transfer advice service, while others went out of business.

amy.austin@ft.com

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