Stephen Kinnock Calls For Early-Warning System So Regulators Can Be More Proactive

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Aberavon MP, Stephen Kinnock, has said lessons need to be learnt from the creation of the British Steel Pension Scheme mark 2, and called for an early-warning system so regulators can be more proactive in tackling the unscrupulous behaviour of certain pension advisers witnessed in Port Talbot.

Speaking in a Commons debate on private sector pensions, Mr Kinnock warned the Secretary of State that lessons needed to be learnt from what had happened in Port Talbot, “The creation of the British Steel pension scheme mark 2 created fertile territory for unscrupulous pension advisers to swoop in like vultures and exploit vulnerable people. What lessons have been learned from the British Steel experience, and what will the Secretary of State do to ensure that we do not see the whole sorry tale of Carillion leading once again to the privatisation of profit and the socialisation of risk?”

As the Commons debate turned to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, Mr Kinnock went on to call for an early-warning system which would allow the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, to see the danger coming and intervene earlier, ‘The transfer of the British Steel pension scheme into a new scheme was announced in early 2017 and was very public. When it all blew up and became fertile territory for unscrupulous pensions advisers, the FCA seemed surprised it was happening. Why did it not see it coming? What steps should the Bill take to improve the early-warning system so that regulators can see these things coming down the track and be far more proactive in getting out there? After all, prevention is better than cure.”

Mr Kinnock’s call comes days after it was announced that the police are investigating the poor advice steelworkers received about their pension. Speaking after the debate, the Aberavon MP said, ‘Steelworkers, many with substantial pensions, were left exposed to unscrupulous individuals who sought to exploit them in what has been a very high profile pension saga. What was evident was that the regulator was too slow to react, steelworkers had already been cheated out of their pension money, and that cannot be allowed to happen again in the future.’