Tenth advice firm ends DB transfer permissions over British Steel saga

Hannah Godfrey reports...

Middlesbrough-based Acklam Financial has become the tenth advice firm to stop undertaking pension transfers as a result of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) saga.

A letter from Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) director of supervision Megan Butler to Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field, dated 12 March, revealed Acklam Financial had voluntarily altered its permissions with the regulator.

The firm said it had decided to change its business and vary its permissions and as such, would no longer provide pension transfer advice.

Acklam Financial joins nine other firms in suspending permissions after concerns relating to advice given to British steelworkers.

The firms include:

  • County Capital Wealth Management
  • Vintage Investment Services
  • Retirement & Pension Planning Services
  • West Wales Financial Services
  • Active Wealth UK
  • Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre
  • Mansion Park
  • Bartholomew Hawkins
  • Inspirational Financial Management

The firms are yet to have their permissions restored, while Active Wealth UK has gone into liquidation.

Acklam Financial managing director Geoff Bollands said: “We decided to withdraw our DB permissions because of the bad publicity surrounding them at the moment. All we’ve done is voluntarily changed our position. We stopped doing DB transfer business, we withdrew from doing it – we changed our permissions with the FCA.”

Bollands said his firm had done DB transfers in the past, but declined to comment on whether they had worked with any British steelworkers.

Field (pictured) said: “I welcome the FCA’s latest update on the advice firms caught in their dragnet, but it is vital that the FCA looks not only at the specific firms that were active around British Steel – it must also look much more closely at any and all connected entities that seek to pick up where those firms left off.”