Request a Demo Today

Release Date: 1st December 2022

To access the original FCA document, click here.


The FCA has fined Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre Limited (PMC), trading as County Financial Consultants, £2,354,331 for providing unsuitable advice to consumers to transfer out of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) and other defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. This action was taken due to PMC’s significant failings in delivering appropriate advice, particularly to BSPS members, many of whom were in vulnerable positions.

Key Points:

Key Takeaways for Other Firms:

Summary of Findings:

PMC advised 420 consumers, nearly two-thirds of whom were BSPS members, to transfer out of their DB pension schemes. The FCA found that 60% of this advice was unsuitable, higher than the overall BSPS transfer rate. PMC’s advice often used generic, non-tailored suitability reports containing contradictory and misleading statements. The firm also lacked adequate resources to handle the volume of cases, further impacting the quality of advice. This led to many consumers, including those needing guaranteed income for retirement and long-term care dependents, being advised to transfer out inappropriately.

Consumer Impact:

The advice led to significant financial losses for many consumers, resulting in over £13.3 million in compensation paid out by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The average transfer value per customer was approximately £293,000. The FCA has emphasised the importance of keeping DB pensions due to their guaranteed income benefits, which cannot be replicated by other investments.


PMC’s significant failings highlight the critical need for tailored and well-documented financial advice, especially for vulnerable customers considering transferring out of DB pension schemes. Firms must ensure they have adequate resources and comply with regulatory standards to protect consumers and avoid substantial penalties. The FCA’s actions serve as a reminder for firms to prioritise customer interests and maintain rigorous compliance with financial advice regulations.

Back to the Dear CEO letter archives.