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January 19, 2024

Another British Steel advice firm fails as FSCS declares Niche IFA in default

Another advice firm facing claims concerning the British Steel pension scheme has failed, according to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Niche Independent Financial Advisers Ltd (Niche IFA) was declared in default by the FSCS on January 17 2024.

The FSCS began investigating claims against the firm in May 2023 when it entered liquidation.

Niche Independent Financial Advisers Ltd had been FCA authorised since November 2007 and also traded as Niche Pension Specialists and Niche IFA.

Claims against Niche Independent Financial Advisers (Niche IFA) now in default

Latest reports suggest that so far the FSCS has received 175 claims against Niche Independent Financial Advisers Ltd.

Of these claims 49 were rejected – mainly on the grounds that the clients suffered no financial loss. However, one claim was upheld which enabled the FSCS to declare Niche IFA in default.  The remainder are still in progress.

It was also reported that the FSCS has paid out £73m in compensation to British Steel pension clients against losses of £106m.

British Steep pension claims

The FSCS confirmed that Niche Independent Financial Advisers Ltd is one of dozens of companies associated with claims regarding the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).

In 2017, thousands of British Steel pension scheme members were given unsuitable advice to transfer out of the BSPS – a defined benefit scheme – into personal pensions or SIPPs.

In 2022 a parliamentary report investigating the BSPS case said that at least 47% of the advice provided was ‘found to be unsuitable, causing significant financial detriment.’

It also said it was estimated that 369 firms and advisers provided unsuitable advice to BSPS members.

Last year the FCA completed an investigation into 30 advice firms regarding Defined Benefit (DB) pension transfer advice related to the BSPS.

This resulted in the issue of bans and fines to several individuals and firms.

DB pension transfer advice ‘unsuitable within the wider market’

It’s not just members of the BSPS who have been given unsuitable DB pension transfer advice.

According to the BSPS parliamentary report, FCA data revealed that 17% of Defined Benefit transfer advice was unsuitable within the wider market.

It added: ‘Based on the level of unsuitability found, thousands more consumers are likely to have been mis-sold DB pension transfer advice from 2015–2021 and are due compensation.’

If you’re concerned about the advice you received to transfer your defined benefit pension – don’t delay in checking. There are time limits that apply to making a complaint and claiming compensation for losses.

If you need some help – call or arrange a chat with one of our team. We can tell you if you may have a case- no obligation to use our service.

Important Information!

You are not required to use our services to pursue your claim. You can also seek further advice or shop around subject to any time limits within which a claim must be made.

It is possible for you to present the claim for free, either to the firm or person against whom you wish to complain or to the statutory ombudsman (Financial Ombudsman Service or Pension Ombudsman Service) or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.