FCA launches High Court proceedings against DB advisers

Rozi Jones
9th February 2021
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The FCA has commenced civil proceedings in the High Court against Paul Steel and Jacqueline Foster for providing unsuitable defined benefit pension transfer advice.

As part of the proceedings, an interim injunction has been secured which freezes the assets of the couple up to the value of £7 million, pending a further hearing.

The FCA alleges that Estate Matters Financial, now in liquidation, contravened various regulatory rules by providing unsuitable defined benefit pension transfer advice, leading consumers to exit DB pension schemes when it was not in their best interests to do so.

It also claims that Mr Steel, who was EMF’s director and co-owner, was knowingly concerned and took action to remove EMF’s assets, leaving it unable to meet potential liabilities for unsuitable advice, whilst enabling him to retain "significant profits" accrued from the advice and ongoing fees.

An injunction was also obtained against Ms Foster on the basis that she may be holding or controlling assets owned by Mr Steel.

The FCA is asking the Court to make a restitution order requiring Mr Steel to compensate consumers who have suffered losses as a result of receiving unsuitable pension transfer advice. No trial date has been set.

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