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British Steel: three more firms agree to cease pension transfers

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British Steel: three more firms agree to cease pension transfers

Three more advice firms have reached voluntary agreements with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to cease pension transfer business, amid fears over advice given to British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members. 

Stockton-on-tees-based Vintage Investment Services, Barnsley-based Retirement & Pension Planning Services Ltd, and Carmarthenshire-based West Wales Financial Services Ltd have all agreed to 'cease all DB pension transfer business immediately', according to the FCA register. 

The latest wave means a total of six firms have ceased transfer business since the British Steel saga began.  

The three notices all read: 'Immediately cease all regulated activities relating to defined benefit pension transfer business for which the firm has part 4A permissions.'

Nigel Lewis, compliance director at West Wales Financial Services Ltd, told New Model Adviser®: 'We have had a review from the FCA and they felt that, although there was nothing wrong with the investments, the files we had did not demonstrate the required rationale for coming out of the scheme. As such, we have decided to stop advising on pension transfers until this is over.'

A spokesman for Vintage Investment Services said: 'The firm has always been committed to acting in the best interests of our clients. We are still awaiting full feedback from the FCA, however we are confident that all the advice we have provided is suitable.'

Active Wealth (UK), Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre and Mansion Park had already been named by the FCA as having stopped transfers via voluntary agreement.

The regulator has held seminars for IFAs in both Swansea and Doncaster, near prominent British Steel sites, along with a public meeting for steelworkers in Port Talbot yesterday. 

Concerns have been raised nationwide over advice given to members of the distressed pension scheme to transfer out. 

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