FCA stops British Steel adviser disposing of assets

The FCA has stopped AJH Financial Services Limited, a firm that advised on transfers from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), disposing of assets without FCA permission.

Related topics:  Regulation
Rozi Jones
15th February 2022
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"We are concerned that AJH does not have sufficient financial resources to pay potential redress claims and appears to have paid out dividends rather than retaining the assets."

The FCA expects to consult on a redress scheme for former members of the British Steel Pension Scheme in March 2022. In December 2021, it wrote to firms who had advised on BSPS "making clear that firms should not dispose of any assets and maintain adequate financial resources".

The regulator first announced that it was looking into the suitability of the advice that firms gave to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme in March 2019.

The FCA's redress scheme would be limited to BSPS transfer advice which it described as a "highly exceptional case" with its analysis indicating significantly more unsuitable advice (47%) than observed in reviews of higher-risk firms in non-BSPS cases (17%).

In a statement published today, the FCA said: "We are concerned that AJH does not have sufficient financial resources to pay potential redress claims and appears to have paid out dividends rather than retaining the assets. AJH has the right to refer our decision for review by the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber).

"We will act to prevent firms from disposing of assets which may be required to pay redress. We will look to impose requirements where firms have not acted in accordance with the expectations in our Dear CEO letter or have attempted to phoenix or put in place structures to avoid potential redress liabilities. We will continue to monitor firms who have advised on BSPS transfers and take action where necessary."

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