It has also secured in interim injunction which freezes the assets of both Mr Steel and his partner Ms Foster up to the value of £7m, pending a further hearing.
The regulator said Mr Steel’s firm, Estate Matters Financial (in liquidation), contravened the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 by providing unsuitable defined benefit pension transfer advice, leading consumers to exit defined benefit pension schemes when it was not in their best interests to do so.
The regulator added that Mr Steel, Estate Matters Financial’s director and co-owner, was knowingly concerned in those contravention.
The FCA alleges that Mr Steel breached FCA requirements by undertaking a course of conduct which resulted in the removal of the firm’s assets, leaving it unable to meet potential liabilities for unsuitable advice, whilst enabling him to retain the significant profits that accrued from the provision of the advice and from ongoing fees.
An injunction was also obtained against Ms Foster on the basis that she may be holding or controlling assets owned by her partner Mr Steel.
The FCA has also asked the Court to make a restitution order requiring Mr Steel to compensate consumers who have suffered losses as a result of receiving unsuitable pension transfer advice.
No trial date has been set.