The Financial Conduct Authority has come under fire after steelworkers received a letter inviting them to a roadshow on the British Steel pension redress scheme a day after the event was held.
In a letter sent by the FCA, seen by FTAdviser, steelworkers were invited to attend an event to get their questions answered for free about the FCA’s British Steel redress scheme.
But the FCA has responded by saying it reached out to steelworkers through a variety of means, including social media, and that the letters were just one of these.
The FCA was joined by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Money Helper.
The letter was dated January 20 for an event held on January 24.
This would have only given steelworkers four days to arrange childcare, or to request time off of work to attend the event, which is often difficult as many steelworkers work shifts.
But FTAdviser understands many steelworkers only received this letter in the post today (January 25), or last night when they got home from work, the day the event was being held.
Al Rush, principal of Echelon Wealthcare and the so-called Port Talbot Pensions Paramedic, said this was unacceptable and the FCA should run another event so people can get their questions answered.
Rush said: “After nearly six years of BSPS, one would think that the FCA would be able to get the mail shot right at least.
“This is one of the reasons why I think the performance of the FCA should be scrutiny and externally by the financial regulators Complaints Commissioner.”
He added: “The FCA has some great people working in it, but it is far too large and clunky in situations which require agility, flexibility and a response.
“I think the FCA should return to Port Talbot at its earliest convenience in order to brief the men and women of the British Steel pension scheme appropriately.”
An FCA spokesperson said: “We used the very active Facebook group and our email subscriber list to let steelworkers know about the event in December. We received a good response and held well attended events this week and last week.
“We used the letters as an additional way of contacting steelworkers. We’ve spoken to Al and will reach out to any steelworkers who received the letter late to make sure they’re able to attend a future event”.
They added: “We had already planned to hold further face to face events in April and will let steelworkers know the date in good time. We are also holding a virtual event for the advisers who can’t attend face-to-face.”
Rush has submitted a formal complaint to Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the FCA, in respect of the regulator’s alleged actions and omissions relating to pension mis-selling from the British Steel Pension Scheme.