A third firm that gave advice to British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members has opted to pull out of the pension transfer market, a few months after voluntarily agreeing with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to suspend its permissions.
The firm’s director said this decision to completely exit the market comes as ‘ambulance chasers are getting involved’.
In March, Middlesbrough-based Acklam Financial became the tenth firm to have its pension transfer permissions suspended due to concerns about advice to BSPS members.
A requirement on the firm’s FCA register recently said the firm must: 'immediately cease all regulated activities relating to defined benefit pension transfer business for which the Firm has Part 4A permissions'.
This note, which was a temporary requirement, has recently been removed. However, Acklam Financial has indicated it will not attempt to regain pension transfer permissions with fears growing over claims firms.
Managing director Geoff Bollands told New Model Adviser®: 'We are not going to reapply. The business is not worth doing because, in the future, we see trouble coming with it. Ambulance chasers are already getting involved.'
Of the other firms to voluntarily surrender their permissions, South Wales-based Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre and West Wales Financial Services have also allowed their permissions to lapse, while Barnsley-based Retirement and Pension Planning Services has applied to cancel all regulatory permissions, according to a note on the register.
The firm at the centre of the saga, Active Wealth (UK), has entered liquidation.
Bartholomew Hawkins, Vintage Investment Services, County Capital Wealth Management (trading as The Pension Review Service), Mansion Park and Inspirational Financial Management are yet to regain their permissions, pending FCA reviews.