We have imposed requirements on a further 3 firms which were seeking to avoid their liabilities under the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) redress scheme.
The firms were associated with the British Steel Adviser Group and made unsolicited offers to its BSPS clients, which had not yet complained, as follows:
Alpha Financial Services made offers of £100 to 100% of its clients.
QED Financial Associates Ltd made offers of £300 to 93% of its clients.
Harvest Associates Ltd made offers of either £50 or £200 to 91% of its clients.
We are seriously concerned that these unsolicited settlement offers were not calculated in line with our guidance, and were a deliberate attempt to exclude former BSPS members from the redress scheme.
All 3 firms will now be required to ensure that consumers who accepted these unsolicited offers are treated in the same way as customers who did not. This will ensure they receive the appropriate redress they are entitled to, putting them back in the financial position they would have been in at retirement had they stayed in the BSPS.
We have previously imposed similar requirements on 3 firms. We will continue to take action where we identify this malpractice.