Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
BLAENAU Gwent MP Nick Smith has called for tougher action in tackling firms and people responsible for poor pension advice.
Mr Smith has been calling for police in South Wales to investigate rogue advisors who took advantage of the restructuring of the British Steel Pension Scheme to prey upon steel pensioners, offering bad advice and mis-selling pensions.
Mr Smith wrote to the treasury for information on what action the Financial Conduct Authority has taken against rogue advisors.
The response he received, from Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen, revealed that enforcement action has been taken against 15 business and individuals for “pensions misconduct” by the FCA in the last five years.
The letter also revealed that the FCA is currently investigating 30 unnamed individuals and firms for poor pension transfer advice and scams that have put pension pots at risk.
Mr Smith said he believed the response raised more questions than answers and called for tougher action from the FCA.
He said: “The FCA needed to be far more aggressive in rooting out rogue advisers and protecting pensions. Fifteen enforcement actions in five years just isn’t good enough.
“The fact that there are now 30 investigations under way is a sign that the FCA are starting to improve their game and that is long overdue.
“But this now needs to be properly seen through; rogue advisors have to face serious penalties – up to and including criminal prosecution when there is sufficient evidence.”