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Two IFA firms fail

They also provided pension transfer advice to British Steel members

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The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has declared that two advisory firms have failed.

They are Birmingham-based County Capital Wealth Management and Bolton-based Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA (SL&S), both of which shut up shop on 21 July 2022.

According to the FCA Register, County Capital WM was incorporated in 2007 and had already entered liquidation in April 2020. It used to trade as The Pension Review Service and Fathom from 2008 and 2019, respectively.

Investment loss specialist business ACL Consultancy said County Capital provided pension transfer advice to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme.

Smith, Law & Shepherds

Smith, Law & Shepherds was incorporated in 2009 and received regulated status in 2016, according to the FCA Register. It then entered administration in January 2022.

The company provided pension transfer advice to British Steel members as well.

SL&S was the subject of an asset retention order by the watchdog in December 2021, where the firm was not allowed to carry out any regulated activities with new customers, including business renewals, or dispose of any of its assets or its client base without prior approval from the FCA.

The IFA firm also received enforcement action from the Information Commissioner’s Office in February 2022 for breaching General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as it failed to comply with data access requests.

The FSCS added that since the two companies have failed, customers may be eligible to file a claim against them.

The lifeboat scheme confirmed to International Adviser it has received 68 claims against County Capital and 20 against SL&S, which all relate to pension transfer advice, with some relating to the British Steel Pension Scheme for both firms.

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