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Advising British Steel pension transfers too risky, says SJP

Continuing to provide defined benefit pension transfer advice to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) could put St James’s Place “outside its risk appetite”, the firm said.

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The UK’s largest advice firm said that it has “monitored closely the British Steel Pension Scheme and taken a view that continued participation in this market could put us outside our risk appetite for advising clients on DB transfers”.

A spokesperson for SJP confirmed to International Adviser that the move was a commercial business decision and was limited to BSPS members.

SJP will continue to provide DB pension transfer advice to other clients.

“We are confident that we have been able to provide suitable advice to the small number of [BSPS] clients we have advised to date,” the spokesperson added.

In the spotlight

The restructure of the BSPS has put it in the national spotlight, with the Financial Conduct Authority and Work and Pensions Select Committee stepping in amid reports that scheme members are not being appropriately advised.

On Tuesday, the select committee chair described the pension scheme as a “honeypot for scammers”.

The UK financial regulator undertook a significant information gathering exercise to identify the firms that have been most active in advising BSPS members to transfer out. Three firms have stopped advising consumers on pension transfers as a result.

SJP is not one of the three firms to stop advising on pension transfers at the behest of the FCA.

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