FCA Fines Defunct PMC Over Pension Scheme Advice

The FCA has fined Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre Limited (PMC) (trading as County Financial Consultants) (in liquidation) £2,354,331 for unsuitable advice to consumers to transfer out of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) and other defined benefit (DB) pension schemes.

The FCA’s view is that most people should keep the guaranteed income provided by a DB pension. PMC advised 420 consumers, nearly two-thirds of whom were BSPS members, on whether to transfer out of their DB scheme. Overall, 93% were advised to transfer. PMC earned over £2 million in transfer and ongoing advice fees. Many of the people advised were in a vulnerable position due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of BSPS and the short timescale they had to make a decision. However, they did not receive the quality of advice they needed to make an informed decision.

Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said:

‘Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre advised hundreds of consumers to give up valuable defined benefit pensions without any adequate justification or rationale, using generic, templated advice not tailored to the specific circumstances of their customers while earning fees in doing so. The quality of advice seen here was woeful. The failings were particularly egregious in the context of the British Steel Pension Scheme, where customers were in an unusually vulnerable position. The FCA’s investigation into the involvement of others in these matters remains ongoing.

‘Any consumers who were advised to transfer should contact the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to see if they are owed redress.’

About alastair walker 10567 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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