The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking into the suitability of the advice that firms gave to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). The UK financial regulator want to ensure that former members of the scheme know about their rights to make a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which is free and independent. The Ombudsman considers complaints from customers, can award compensation of up to £150,000 and its decisions are legally binding.
Any former BSPS member who was given financial advice to transfer out of the BSPS, and is unsure if the advice was suitable, should make a complaint. Firstly, they should make the complaint to the firm that provided the advice. The firm should give them a formal response within 8 weeks. If complainants do not get a response within 8 weeks, or don’t agree with the response, they should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to refer the complaint to them.
The FCA remind all regulated advice firms that they expect them to keep their Personal Indemnity Insurance (PII) provider updated about any claims that are being made. Firms are responsible for ensuring that they adhere to the terms and conditions of their PII agreement.
The regulator is closely monitoring firms that are, or have been, active in this sector – particularly those that have been involved in BSPS transfers. The FCA will share any further information as soon as they can.