An advice firm will stop accepting new pension business after concerns were raised to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that it has been offering unsuitable defined benefit (DB) transfer advice to steel workers, New Model Adviser® can reveal.
A note on the FCA register entry for Active Wealth (UK) Ltd said the firm will 'immediately cease accepting any new retail clients in respect of its pension business for which the Firm has part 4A permissions'.
In addition, the firm will not offer pension advice to existing clients unless that advice is signed off by an independent third-party, and will write to clients about the change in its permissions and request their permission to share information with a third-party.
New Model Adviser® understands the firm reached a voluntary agreement with the regulator after concerns were raised about the firm's involvement with British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members.
The scheme has given members until 11 December to decide whether to transfer to a new BSPS scheme, or switch to the pension protection fund. Members can also transfer out entirely, and many have been given a transfer value deadline of 11 December.
Worries have been raised nationwide over steelworkers being targeted by advisers, and the subsequent volume of transfers away from the DB scheme. Earlier this week New Model Adviser® revealed that many local IFAs have closed to new business because the demand from steel workers is so high.
Active Wealth (UK) has two staff members according to the FCA register. Darren Reynolds is listed at the director of the firm. Reynolds has not responded to request for comment at the time of publication.
The FCA declined to comment.