FSCS claims against British Steel adviser start piling in

Hannah Godfrey reports...

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has received 34 complaints from former Active Wealth UK clients, the adviser embroiled at the centre of the British Steel Pension Scheme controversy.

The compensation fund is yet to make any payments to Active Wealth UK customers and could not give an estimate of the eventual cost the claims might add up to.

In February, Active Wealth entered liquidation following criticism for the advice it had given to British Steel workers. A notice on The Gazette said the company would be “wound up voluntarily”.

Active Wealth UK worked with unregulated introducer firm Celtic Wealth Management offering British Steel workers the chance to transfer out of their defined benefit pension for just £1,500.

Many steelworkers who spoke with Professional Adviser described advice scenarios that were less than professional. Some said they were asked to fill out risk questionnaires at the end of the transfer process to “keep the Financial Conduct Authority happy” while others were told it was a “no-brainer” to transfer.

One steelworker told Professional Adviser he met Darren Reynolds, an adviser at Active Wealth, twice for just 20 minutes before transferring out of his pension.

The steelworkers have since taken steps towards instigating legal proceedings against “all parties involved” in the process.