S & M Hughes Ltd, trading as Crescent Financial

Failed 14 August 2020

FRN: 566837

You might be eligible for compensation

In September 2019, S & M Hughes Ltd (trading as Crescent Financial) was placed into liquidation.  As part of our on-going monitoring of failed financial firms, we identified that the firm may have provided advice that left people worse off.

During 2017, many British Steel workers were advised to transfer out of their defined benefit pension into a defined contribution pension, known as a Personal Pension Plan or a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).

It was one of three choices available to British Steel Pensions Scheme (BSPS) members. The others were the new scheme (BSPS2) and Pension Protection Fund (PPF). You can read more about how these options compare in the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry report.

We found that the returns needed by the former BSPS members’ new pensions were unrealistic to match the benefits offered by the BSPS2 or the PPF, and that customers would have been better off if they had not transferred to a private plan.

Even if those that transferred haven’t lost money yet - the terms, exclusions and complexities involved in a DB transfer (where they were advised to transfer out of their defined benefit pension with the BSPS and into a defined contribution pension) may not have been adequately explained.

By transferring to a private pension arrangement, they would have lost the guaranteed benefits you already built up in the BSPS. It may not be realistic to achieve the same level of benefits from their new plan.

The advice they received may not have been the best advice for them.

Click the button above to check if you can claim against S & M Hughes (trading as Crescent Financial).

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

You don't need a claims company or a solicitor to make a claim with us, but if you're not good with forms, consider using a friend or family member as a personal representative.

  • 10 Nov, 2021

    Further one-to-one sessions for those who transferred out of the BSPS are to be held in Swansea and Scunthorpe this month and next.

    See our British Steel Pension Scheme page for more details and a link to the booking site.

  • 07 Sep, 2021

    September 2021 one-to-one events

    We are holding one-to-one sessions for those who transferred out of the BSPS.


    You will be able to book appointments with us, the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Financial Conduct Authority and/or MoneyHelper. These will provide free, in-person and confidential help. You can find out more about what the advice process should have looked like, how to make a complaint or claim, and get answers to your pension questions.

    When: 28–30 September 2021, various timeslots will be available

    Where: Mercure Hotel, Phoenix Way, Llansamlet, Swansea, SA7 9EG

    Find out more and book sessions.


If you've any questions, contact us on the number below, or fill in a form on our Contact us page.