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British Steel Pension transfer advice continues to haunt IFA firms

In 2017, the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members were forced to make a decision about their pension as part of a restructuring of the company's pension scheme.

Most of the members relied on the advice given to them by various independent financial advice firms. However, instead of transferring to the replacement British Steel scheme (BSPS 2) many of them were advised to transfer to a much risky personal pension, meaning they lost the guaranteed benefits associated with a final salary or defined benefit scheme.

Concerns in relation to the suitability of the advice being given to members began to surface, giving rise to an intervention from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This resulted in many advice firms being halted from transferring any more pensions to prevent any further consumer harm.

Approx 8,000 members transferred out of the scheme, with total transfers amounting to circa £2.8billion.

The financial press has reported that the scandal could cost the industry upwards of £300m even with many of the members being only partly compensated due to the Financial Services Compensation Schemes (FSCS) limits, which is currently £85k.

We anticipate that the Firms who provided advice to transfer pension funds away from the security of the BSPS scheme are likely to face claims. Where upheld, the compensation awards are expected to be substantial, which may lead to failure of the firm.

To date the following firms have been declared in default by the FSCS;

Acklam Financial Ltd

Active Wealth Ltd

Argent Weatlh Ltd

A.W. Dallas Financial Services Ltd

Bartholomew Hawkins Ltd

Briggs Murray Financial Planning & Wealth Management Ltd

Capital and Income Solutions Ltd

Channel One Financial Planning LLP

County Capital Wealth Management Ltd

Douglas Baillie Ltd & Fast Pensions Ltd

Estate Matters Financial Ltd

Fiducia Wealth Solutions

Keywood Olley & Associates Ltd

Hyde Financial Management Ltd

Independent Benefit Consultancy Ltd

Intuitive Financial Associates LLP

John Coldwell Pensions & Investments Ltd

John Dyer Ltd

Manion Park Ltd

Network Direct Ltd

Omega Financial Solutions Ltd

Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre Ltd

PWH Financial Planning Ltd

Retirement and Planning Services Ltd

S & M Hughes Ltd

Smith, Law & Shepherds I.F.A Ltd

The Ntrust Group Ltd

Tramway Financial Management Ltd

West Wales Financial Services Ltd

Whitebridge Financial Planning Ltd

If you have been advised by a regulated advice firm to transfer your pension from the British Steel Pension Scheme then contact us today.

You do not need to use the services of a third party to make a claim as both the FSCS and FOS are free services. Your complaint must be directed to the firm before it can be referred to the FOS and the FSCS will only step into the shoes of the firm once it has failed and subsequently declared in default.

Hallbrook has been operating as a claims management company for more than 12 years with over £60m in compensation awarded for clients. We have the knowledge, expertise and experience to ensure you get the full compensation you are entitled to.

We offer a no obligation consultation to establish if you have ground for a claim and you will only pay a fee if we are successful, subject to terms and conditions.

Our fees range from 18%-36% inclusive of VAT and are subject to a fees cap. We expect compensation awards for Pension transfer claims to be in excess of £50k, which means our fee will not exceed £12k inc VAT.

Hallbrook are already assisting numerous former members of the BSPS with claims and have so far received a number of upheld decisions from the FOS. We expect that most, if not all of clients will receive the full compensation they are entitled to.


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