Three advice firms have stopped carrying out defined benefit (DB) transfer advice following intervention from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) around the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).
In an update published this afternoon, the regulator said it has ‘undertaken a significant information gathering exercise in order to identify which firms have been most active in advising consumers to transfer out of the BSPS.'
It said: ‘This included gathering information from 50 financial advice firms, 12 Sipp operators, and the BSPS scheme administrators. Based on the data received the FCA has visited seven advice firms and requested files from a further four advice firms. As a result of this work three firms have stopped advising consumers on pension transfers. The FCA plans to visit a further six firms this week,’ the FCA said.
New Model Adviser® revealed that advice firm Active Wealth UK had voluntarily agreed with the FCA agreed to stop new pension business in November after concerns were raised to the FCA it has been offering unsuitable transfer advice to steelworkers.
This latest update from the FCA shows two other firms have stopped DB transfer advice following FCA engagement.
The FCA said as part of its wider work into DB transfer advice it is now sending out more questionnaires.
‘The FCA will continue its previously planned work on DB transfer advice in the wider market. Last week the FCA sent out a questionnaire to 45 firms as part of the next phase of this work.’