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FCA to meet steelworkers again over claims

FCA to meet steelworkers again over claims

The Financial Conduct Authority will once again travel to Swansea this 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 MoneyHelper to hold one-to-one sessions for those who transferred out of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).

The sessions are designed to educate steelworkers on 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. 

They will take place from 22 to 25 November at the Mercure Hotel in Swansea. Steelworkers are able to book these sessions now.

In addition the FCA will travel to Scunthorpe from 6 to 9 December.

The regulatory bodies had already spent three days in Swansea in September but these meetings were met with mixed response from steelworkers, with some showing no interest while others claimed they were unable to book a place due to a lack of flexibility on the regulators' behalf.

Steelworkers complained they were not offered access to sessions outside of their working hours, which revolve around shift patterns.

Across the three days, the event had a total of 138 confirmations of attendance, with 128 slots being taken up - a 93 per cent attendance rate.

The FCA had 56 slots available, of which 50 were taken, while the Fos had 60 slots which 57 people showed up for.

But the regulator told FTAdviser at the time it was “committed to run future events in South Wales and in Scunthorpe” and that it would set them up shortly after the event.

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.

The saga prompted a crackdown on DB transfer advice. 

The regulator said DB advice firm numbers have shrunk from 3,000 in 2018 to 1,200 now. 

amy.austin@ft.com

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