According to a report published by the Financial Times Advisor, Nikhil Rathi, the FCA’s chief executive, wrote in a letter to Mel Stride, chairman of the Treasury committee, that the FCA was specifically interested in business reviews related to approximately 1,500 BSPS (British Steel Pension Scheme) cases.
Rathi revealed that the FCA is also conducting dozens of enforcement investigations and surveying hundreds of BSPS members to gain a deeper understanding of the scandal and its effects.
The BSPS Scheme
The British Steel Pension Scheme scandal occurred over 3 years ago in 2017. At the time, members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (which was designed to provide guaranteed retirement income) were given 3 choices regarding the DB (defined benefit pension).
Members could (1) move their pension to a new plan, known as BSPS2, (2) stick with the existing fund, which would be moved to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) as part of a plan to restructure pension liabilities, or (3) transfer out completely.
When faced with these options, approximately 8,000 BSPS members chose to transfer out of the old scheme. These transfers were worth around £2.8 billion.
Soon after these transfers took place, concerns about their appropriateness arose. Many steelworkers now believe that they were mis-sold and given poor or incorrect advice regarding their pensions and retirement investments.
As a result, the FCA intervened and began to dig deeper into the firms that recommended BSPS members transfer out of the scheme.
Signs of Financial Mis-Selling
Financial mis-selling occurs when an individual is knowingly given unsuitable financial advice (including advice regarding their pension and retirement benefits).
As the BSPS pension scandal has proven, it’s not as hard as one might think to be financially mis-sold. The following are some potential warning signs that one might be dealing with a pension mis-selling scam:
- Cold calls that offer free pension reviews or similar services
- Cold calls that refer you to independent financial advisers
- Financial advisors making arrangements for bespoke services that will drop off or pick up transfer or investment documents
- Financial advisors using terms like “high returns” or “low risk” when it comes to strange-sounding investments
- Financial advisors recommending unusual sounding investments
- Financial advisors rushing you or putting pressure on you to decide
The FCA has reason to believe that the firms that advised BSPS members to transfer their pensions intentionally mis-sold them, perhaps by using tactics like these (hence the order for more comprehensive reviews).
Have You Been Mis-Sold?
Do you suspect that you’ve been mis-sold? Do any of the tactics mentioned above seem familiar to you?
If you have concerns about financial mis-selling or suspect that you’ve been part of a pension scam, Goodwin Barrett is here to help. Contact us today at 0808 163 1659 today or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you make a claim as quickly as possible.