The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) announced on 17 January 2023 that Better Retirement Group (BRG) has failed.
The move marks somewhat of a deja-vu moment considering the lifeboat scheme announced BRG had failed in June 2021, but it was then forced to backtrack five days later.
This is because BRG received a business winding-up court order on 16 December 2020, but the decision was rescinded on 11 February 2021, a fact that was missed by the FSCS at the time.
The advice firm then went on to enter into creditors voluntary liquidation on 2 September 2022.
But the saga did not end there, as the FSCS started investigating BRG on 7 September 2022 for its association to the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) scandal.
At the time, the lifeboat scheme told International Adviser it couldn’t declare the advice business in default as it did not meet the two criteria required for that to happen – namely receiving at least one valid claim against it and not being able to meet the costs of the claim(s).
BRG only met the second requirement as it had entered liquidation. But it seems that now Better Retirement Group has had valid claims filed against it, as the FSCS has declared it in default, yet again.
The lifeboat scheme told IA it has received 217 claims against the company; 199 of which are in progress with the remaining 18 having been rejected.
The claims all relate to pension transfer advice, including some about BSPS.
This is the fifth UK advice firm to fail in 2023 – following Midhurst Asset Management, Nurture Financial Planning, Cadogan Asset Management and Plan Your Retirement Limited.