On 26 January we set out concerns about an emerging practice where some firms were making unsolicited offers to former BSPS members, ahead of the redress scheme which begins on 28 February.
Under the scheme firms will have to review the advice they gave and pay redress to those who lost money because of unsuitable advice.
We have now identified more firms - 15 - who are engaged in this misconduct, most of which are associated with the British Steel Adviser Group.
We are concerned that this is a deliberate attempt to exclude former BSPS members from the scheme, binding them to receiving less money than they might be entitled to under the scheme.
This type of behaviour will not be tolerated and we will take firm action to put a stop to this sharp practice.
Expectations for firms
Our news story on 26 January clearly outlines our expectations of firms and our view on this behaviour. In addition to the expectations we set out in that news story, firms should:
- withdraw any existing unsolicited settlement offers pending any consumer agreement
- stop making further unsolicited offers to former BSPS members who have not made complaints
- treat any pending unsolicited settlement offers as withdrawn
Implications for former BSPS members
If you are a former BSPS member, accepting a redress offer now might mean you are not included in the scheme and might mean you do not receive the right amount of redress.
If you do not take any action and do not reply to the offer from the firm, you will be included in the redress scheme we have established, provided you are eligible. Advisers will then be required to use our calculator when calculating redress if the advice was unsuitable.
If you have received or accepted an unsolicited offer, you can email the details to [email protected] and we will review it.
Alternatively, if you think you have been affected, you can call our helpline on 0800 098 4100.
Read more information about the scheme.