Nine financial advice firms told to cease or limit pension transfers

Nine financial advice firms told to cease or limit pension transfers

FCA has required nine more firms to cease or limit pension transfer activity in 2018

In some cases, variations in permissions may have been for business reasons, while in many cases, firms ceasing transfers have been subject to a voluntary requirement or imposed under the FCA’s initiative powers.

The nine firms in question are listed below:

October 2018

James Hair Group (Fife)

July 2018

Omega Financial Solutions (Blackpool)

June 2018

Nectar Wealth (Towcester)

Radcliffe & Company (Southampton)

May 2018

Gerard Associates (Bristol)

Hansells Solicitors (Norwich)

Premier Wealth Managers (Glasgow)

Active Finance (Glasgow)

April 2018

Cowley & Miller Independent Financial Services (Glasgow)



The most recent case, James Hair Group, was told by the FCA to “not carry on any business relating to a pension transfer or opt out.” Principal, James Hair, told reporters that the change came about as part of the incorporation of James Hair & Co into the corporate structure of James Hair Group Limited.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has explained in the past how it enforces permission variations on advice firms when the FCA ‘suspects serious misconduct may have occurred'.

The FCA said if it finds evidence that firms are in breach of its standards it can use its powers to vary permissions, or impose requirements. It said:

These powers may be used to prevent or to stop harm from becoming serious. We can require firms to examine their conduct and address harm. In many cases, we will ask firms to voluntarily accept a variation of permission or the imposition of a requirement (VREQ). If firms refuse we may impose the variation or requirement under our own–initiative powers (OIREQ)

While a few of these firms may have chosen variations for business reasons, many of them have had permission variations enforced due to breaches. This is a rising trend too, with Smooth Commercial acting for over 50 clients in relation to FCA breaches in pension transfers.

If you do believe you have a dispute with any of these firms in regards to a pension transfer, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme may be able to compensate you, particularly if the firm fails.

How can Smooth Law Commercial help?

At Smooth Commercial Law, our team of experts have extensive experience in dealing with a whole manner of claims that arise from negligent and/or unsuitable financial advice. We are seeing an increase in claims for mis-sold pensions, and have managed to secure compensation for many of our clients.

Should you have a claim, we can deal with your case and look to recover compensation for not just your loss of investment but also any adverse tax liabilities that you may now be facing as well.

You can contact our experienced team by calling the number at the top of this page or by emailing


The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.