RegulationApr 19 2023

Regulators praise work on BSPS saga

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Regulators praise work on BSPS saga

A group of regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority, have praised the collaborative work to engage British Steel members to complain or claim redress

In the financial services regulatory family annual report, published today (April 19), it said one of the key achievements in 2022 was working together to ensure consumers who were unsuitably advised to transfer out of the British Steel Pension Scheme are aware of their rights and to "make the complaints or claim journey as accessible as possible".

The organisations that work within the framework are:

  • The Financial Ombudsman Service (Fos)
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • The Financial Services Compensation Service (FSCS)
  • The Pensions Regulator (TPR)
  • The Money and Pensions Service (Maps)

Other achievements included sharing information on complaints about mortgage standard variable rates and joint work to ensure that the Fos is prepared for the introduction of FCA’s consumer duty.

The regulatory family said the wider implications framework is a way that the organisation can work with each other on issues that could have a wider impact across the financial services industry.

For example, it could be because a large number of consumers are potentially affected, or because of the amount of redress at stake, or because there is a risk of business failure.

The issue might be identified, for example, through the Fos’s casework, or through FCA supervision.

The bodies said issues with potential wider implications that are identified by the members can be easily escalated through working-level, executive or chairs’ meetings, depending on their likely impact. 

One example was around BSPS where the Fos, FCA and the FSCS worked together to engage former members and help them understand whether and how to complain. 

The Fos, FCA, FSCS and TPR have also worked with The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) on the handling of British Steel complaints, including attending a roundtable discussion for British Steel pension members.

Following their joint in-person events in South Wales and Scunthorpe in 2021, 86 per cent of attendees surveyed said they found the events useful and 92 per cent agreed that having attended the event they were clearer about their own next steps. 

The Fos, the FCA and the FSCS now have regular working level meetings to discuss issues involving strategy, approach and communication as well as to share information and insight. 

“BSPS has also been one of the main issues discussed at senior level meetings and was also frequently on the agenda for chairs' meetings,” it said.

“The members acknowledge that BSPS is still a live case and work in progress and are constantly sharing insight and adapting to new developments. 

“Our consumer engagement strategy resulted in a number of former BSPS members becoming aware of the potential need to complain and who to complain to.”