Active Wealth (UK) Ltd are one of several advice firms involved in claims regarding the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).
In 2018 they were named in an FCA letter as one of 10 firms who had voluntarily given up permissions after discussions with the FCA.
These permissions concerned regulated activities in relation to defined benefit pension transfers.
This meant they would stop providing pension advice.
Active Wealth had advised some clients to transfer their pensions into SIPPs which had high-risk, unregulated investments.
In 2017 the Pensions Regulator allowed British Steel to close its troubled original pension scheme. This left scheme members with the choice on what to do with their pensions.
Many were advised to transfer out of their defined benefit pension into a Personal Pension Plan or a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).
However, the advice to transfer was not the most suitable option for most BSPS members. And some members were not made aware of the alternatives to transferring.
The BSPS was a Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme.
Transferring from a DB pension into a private pension arrangement would only be suitable for some people, in certain circumstances.
By transferring, members would lose the benefits already built up in the British Steel Pension Scheme. It’s also unrealistic to expect they would achieve the same level of benefits from the new plan.
The Financial Conduct Authority states it is unlikely to be in an individual’s interests to leave a defined benefit scheme.
Many of the 8000 BSPS members who received unsuitable advice to transfer are now claiming compensation.
The BAD news:
Pension mis-selling has cost pension savers BILLIONS of pounds.
The GOOD news:
Compensation payments are hitting record figures every year.
Celtic Wealth Management were a pension introducer company. They were not authorised to give pension advice but they did “introduce” clients to Active Wealth (UK).
Some of which were BSPS members.
According to this article on the BBC website, they cold called potential clients and “received around £750” for each client that transferred their pension.
Greyfriars Asset Management were a SIPP provider company that were also authorised to provide financial advice, as well as Discretionary Fund Management (DFM) services.
Active Wealth (UK) invested some of its client monies into Portfolio six, which was run by Greyfriars and invested in high-risk corporate bonds.
In 2016 Greyfriars were told by the FCA to stop accepting new money into their DFM Portfolios, especially Portfolio Six.
Investments which were in Portfolio Six include The Olmstead Series, Lanner Car Parks and The Resort Group.
The Resort Group was an investment in luxury holiday resorts in Cape Verde. It was subject to a BBC Panorama undercover documentary about “Pension Rip-offs”. Investments of this nature are generally unsuitable for the average SIPP investor.
Unfortunately, a lot of “average investors” have ended up invested in The Resort Group, often as a result of negligent financial advice.
Active Wealth (UK) Ltd was declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in 2018. The company was dissolved in May 2019.
In 2021 Director Darren Reynolds was disqualified from being a company director for 13 years. Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service which found Active Wealth had failed to act in the best interests of its clients.
Reynolds had advised around 288 clients to transfer £23m into Greyfriars Portfolio Six.
If your adviser has been declared in default it means the FSCS are satisfied that there are protected claims against them and that they are unlikely or unable to pay compensation.
This means you can still make a claim against Active Wealth (UK) Ltd but it will be processed by the FSCS.
The FSCS has limits to how much compensation it can award depending on when and how you were mis-sold.
We provide an initial assessment to check if you may have been given mis-sold pension advice.
Whilst each case is individual, as pension mis-selling specialists we know to look for certain signs that in our experience indicate unsuitable advice may have been given.
Our assessment is free and there’s absolutely no obligation to use our service if you have case.
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.