BSPS – is the “dam breaking”

dam busters

The imagination of Al Rush is stirred by deeds of the RAF so I smiled to see this Facebook post.

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Being on the other side of the planet, I had not picked up on this press release from the FCA.

The FCA is looking into the suitability of the advice that firms gave to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). We want to ensure that former members of the scheme know about their rights to make a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which is free and independent. The Ombudsman considers complaints from customers, can award compensation of up to £150,000 and its decisions are legally binding.

Any former BSPS member who was given financial advice to transfer out of the BSPS, and is unsure if the advice was suitable, should make a complaint. Firstly, they should make the complaint to the firm that provided the advice. The firm should give them a formal response within 8 weeks. If complainants do not get a response within 8 weeks, or don’t agree with the response, they should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service(link is external) to refer the complaint to them.

We remind all regulated advice firms that we expect them to keep their Personal Indemnity Insurance (PII) provider updated about any claims that are being made.  Firms are responsible for ensuring that they adhere to the terms and conditions of their PII agreement.

We are closely monitoring firms that are, or have been, active in this sector – particularly those that have been involved in BSPS transfers. We will share any further information as soon as we can.

Here at last is the firm and unequivocal action that was needed in the autumn of 2017.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Al Rush has pretty well single handedly seen this campaign to its current position – he is the architect and leader of the dambusters!


When a dam breaks.

Anyone who has seen the final half hour of the Dam Busters can’t but remember what happened as the waters from the dams roared down the Ruhr.

There will be collateral damage, not just to the IFAs and their PI insurers but to the providers of SIPPs and the investment vehicles those SIPPs used.  Those not tied down and rooted in probity will be swept away like the Ruhr railways.

This damage is essential to the proper functioning of a retail driven pension system. It is purgative.

But it is also critical to our trust in regulators. What Al’s work at Port Talbot has done is to change regulatory behaviours – especially the behaviour of the FCA – and I think it is for the better.

We shouldn’t forget that at the original W&P Select meeting on pension freedoms – dealing with transfers – Al was not allowed to attend. His offence was to jokingly joust with the FCA accredited Darren Reynolds on Twitter .

Al learned from that and the temperance of his behaviour these days has not suppressed his huge energy and courage.


The corrective value of journalism

 

Jo Cumbo’s constant chivying has been the amplification Al needed. Her paper -the FT – has trusted Jo to pursue this story over 18 months. Without the threat of being Cumboed, many of the participants in skulduggery would have unashamedly “bamboozled” their way to personal gain through the destruction of solid retirement planning , constructed over years.

The corrective power of Cumbo is awesome.

 


The self-correcting processes that give us hope

It’s all too easy to let the flame go out, to give up on the hope for good in the face of what seems like impossible odds against.

Al Rush, Jo Cumbo – alongside offshore campaigners such as Angie Brooks and David Lean, ensure that the self-correcting processes of a properly regulated pension sector work.

There are still huge disappointments, especially in the world of offshore investments where the self-correcting process is slower and weaker.

But the FCA statement shows – that given patience – the system will correct itself. Providing that people can be brave enough to whistleblow against injustice.

Thanks to Al Rush for all he is doing and has done, I have no doubt he will finish the job.

dam busters 2

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in advice gap, BSPS, pensions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to BSPS – is the “dam breaking”

  1. John Mather says:

    There is another problem here. Who is examining how much the deficit in the scheme reflected in the purchase price of the company by Tata. How well the scheme was funded while they owned it and how much was invested in the company to increase productivity which would then facilitate the cash required to meet the future obligations of the scheme. Then if it is found that not contributing ( the same as taking assets out) then why was the fund not made whole when the company was sold. Asset stripping seems to be back in fashion, even the Treasury finds Pensions a soft target to give short term gains at the expense of the long term planning which further undermines confidence in the provision of services, healthcare and pensions. The economy is not working for the bottom 60% which is heading for social unrest with the quality of leadership that cannot focus on the long term preferring the tyranny of the urgent at the expense of what is good for the country in the long term

  2. Robert says:

    It’s very odd why the title to this blog is “BSPS – is the dam breaking” as it doesn’t mention any claims against the BSPS whatsoever?

    A more appropriate title would be “BSPS is fine but is the dam breaking for rogue advisory firms”.

    In the press release from the FCA it says………

    “The FCA is looking into the suitability of the advice that firms gave to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS)”.

    “We remind all regulated advice firms that we expect them to keep their Personal Indemnity Insurance (PII) provider updated about any claims that are being made. Firms are responsible for ensuring that they adhere to the terms and conditions of their PII agreement”.

    “We are closely monitoring firms that are, or have been, active in this sector – particularly those that have been involved in BSPS transfers. We will share any further information as soon as we can”.

    Henry goes on to say………

    ”There will be collateral damage, not just to the IFAs and their PI insurers but to the providers of SIPPs and the investment vehicles those SIPPs used. Those not tied down and rooted in probity will be swept away like the Ruhr railways”.

    Still, no mention of any claims against the BSPS? 🙂

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