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British Steel redress scheme legal action by IFAs is abandoned

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The FCA's redress programme for former members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) who transferred out after obtaining inappropriate advice has belatedly been accepted by the British Steel Adviser Group (BSAG). The BSAG have also confirmed they have agreed to drop its legal challenge.

The BSAG, which consists of firms that provided assistance to BSPS members, retained solicitors to act as its legal counsel while it challenged the FCA's restitution programme.

However, the BSAG's legal challenge to the FCA has now been dropped, and the case's hearing scheduled for April 24 has been postponed, according to a published Upper Tribunal document.

The FCA will receive £100,000 from the BSAG to cover its legal expenses in disputing the challenge, the court added. This fee will probably be split between the member IFAs in the BSAG.

The BSAG's legal challenge to the FCA's redress programme, which was scheduled to launch in February, was described as "an attempt to delay the payment of redress that is due to some former BSPS members" by the FCA in January.

The FCA's data-collection procedure, particularly its defined benefit advice evaluation tool, to evaluate earlier pension transfer advice, had been criticised by solicitors, who had previously requested for a re-consultation by the FCA on the redress plan.

"We applaud the British Steel Advisor Group's decision to discontinue the legal challenge against our decision to set up a restitution plan for former British Steel Pension Scheme members," the FCA stated in a statement.

"Our position has always been that the challenge lacked validity and that we would vehemently defend the plan."

"We are also glad that BSAG has agreed to make a significant contribution to our costs," the statement continued. "This case has, in our opinion, been pursued unfairly with little intention to go to trial. Several BSAG companies have been officially cautioned and penalised for making unsolicited pitches to former BSPS members.

About 343 advisory firms will be impacted by the FCA's British Steel redress programme, which is anticipated to result in the payment of £49 million in compensation to 1,000 steelworkers.

If you think you have been the victim of a mis-sold pension advice or your pension has lost value after transfer speak to a member of our expect team today by calling 0800 046 9976 or alternatively, you can fill out the online enquiry form.

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