The FCA has found an additional 11 advising companies that are contacting former British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) participants with unsolicited restitution proposals, which could mean that the steelworkers are not covered by the BSPS redress programme.
The regulator claimed that the unsolicited offers might be a "deliberate attempt to remove former BSPS members from the [redress] scheme" and that they might result in the recipients receiving less compensation than they would have been entitled to under the scheme.
The FCA stated, "This kind of behaviour will not be permitted, and we will take firm action to halt this shady activity."
The concerned advisory firms are the subject of an FCA investigation.
It advised the companies to treat any pending unsolicited settlement offers as withdrawn in the interim and to stop making unsolicited settlement offers to former British Steel Pension Scheme members who have not filed complaints.
According to the FCA, the majority of these 15 advisory firms are connected to the British Steel Action Organisation (BSAG), a pressure group made up of over 300 IFAs and represented by the legal company FS Legal Solicitors.
The FCA stated last month that the BSAG had filed a judicial challenge against the British Steel Pension Scheme redress mechanism, which it claimed might cause payments to be delayed and prevent steelworkers from filing complaints with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The £49 million restitution programme, which was announced in November, is set to launch on February 28. More than 1,000 former British Steel Pensions Scheme members will get compensation, and it will have an impact on 343 advisory businesses.
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