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Inspirational Financial Management Fined Over
British Steel Pension Transfers

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The firm has been fined almost £900k, two individuals face Financial Conduct Authority bans, and they’ve been told they “should have known better”.

Inspirational Financial Management (IFM) is a Huddersfield-based firm of financial advisers and planners. It is also known as IFM Retirement Solutions, IFM Mortgage Solutions and Lifetime Solutions. It is one of the firms associated with the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) scandal, where steelworkers fell victim to unscrupulous advisers who encouraged them to transfer out of valuable Defined Benefit (DB) Pensions.

Between June 2015 and December 2017, the firm provided unsuitable financial advice to hundreds of clients, including nearly 200 steelworkers. It collected fees from customers through a contingent charging model when they transferred out of their final salary pension scheme. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City watchdog, banned this practice in 2020, citing it was unfair to customers, who could end up paying thousands of pounds in fees.

IFM was placed in administration on 30th November 2023, after which the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) started an investigation to establish if IFM could meet any claims made against it for unsuitable advice. The FSCS is a government backed lifeboat scheme to protect the customers of failed financial firms.

The FCA also conducted an investigation which showed that 83% of the firm’s pension transfer advice did not meet the minimum standards required and put customers at risk of financial loss.

The FCA has now fined IFM almost £900,000. An IFM financial adviser, Arthur Cobill, and a director, William Hofstetter, have also been banned from giving pension transfer advice.

An update on the FSCS website says:

“As the firm has gone out of business, it won’t be able to continue to take part in the Financial Conduct Authority’s redress scheme.”

However, claims can still be brought to the FSCS, which can pay compensation up to a limit of £85,000.

We have featured other firms associated with British Steel Pension transfers, many of which have since gone out of business.

Steelworkers and others who transferred out of a Defined Benefit Pension Scheme after receiving financial advice from IFM should not delay.

Sarah Spruce, Legal Director and Head of the Pension Transfer Claims team, says:

“The FSCS website includes a list of firms under investigation or failed after 28th February 2023, an important cut-off date for the FCA’s British Steel Pensions redress scheme. The list is growing, as more firms are unable to meet claims against them and have no option but to go close their doors.

Even if a firm has failed, and can’t be part of the redress scheme, there are other ways to try and get your money back. Get in touch with a member of my specialist team for a no obligation discussion to explore all the options, including whether you may be able to make a ‘no-win, no-fee’ compensation claim.”

Our expertise allows us to navigate complex legal jargon and paperwork, ensuring you get the best result. We understand the claims and appeals processes and the timescales involved in financial mis-selling cases and will ensure your cases is moved along to completion.

If you, a friend or a loved one, invested through Inspirational Financial Management and think that you may have lost out, then we may be able to help you make a ‘no-win, no-fee’ compensation claim. Get in touch for a no obligation discussion about your case.

Call 0800 169 5925, email or complete one of the forms below.

It is important to get advice as soon as possible as strict time limits can apply.

Minimum case values apply.

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