Second British Steel firm regains pension transfer permissions

Hannah Godfrey writes...

Mansion Park, a firm associated with the British Steel pension scheme saga, has become the second adviser firm involved in the episode to regain its pension transfer permissions after almost a year of restrictions.

The Financial Services Register entry for the firm has changed to show no evidence of restrictions on the firm, whereas it had previously stated the firm must “cease all regulated activities relating to pension transfer business”.

At a Work and Pensions Committee hearing in December, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) director of supervision Megan Butler revealed the firm had had its permissions suspended in the wake of the British Steel saga.

A statement issued by the firm at the time said it planned to implement any procedural changes recommended by the FCA to “further improve the integrity of our business and to give peace of mind to our clients”.

In August, County Capital Wealth Management, which trades as The Pension Review Service, became the first of the British Steel advisers to recover its pension transfer permissions after voluntarily giving them up.

County Capital managing director Mark Abley told RP’s sister publication Professional Adviser the “thorough” and “testing” process had taken six months, but ultimately led it to “revamp” its entire pension transfer process.

A further eight advice firms that had permissions changed as a direct result of involvement with British steelworkers have experienced a raft of different outcomes.

Active Wealth UK – the firm at the centre of the saga – entered liquidation, along with Retirement & Pension Planning Services.

Meanwhile, three firms – Middlesbrough-based Acklam Financial as well as the Wales-based Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre and West Wales Financial Services – decided to pull out of the pension transfer market entirely.

A further three firms still have DB transfer permission suspensions: Bartholomew Hawkins, Inspirational Financial Management and Vintage Investment Services. It is not known whether these firms will regain their permissions.

Mansion Park has been contacted for comment.