Last month saw the introduction of a UK ban on cold calling in relation to PPI and personal injury claims. But a ban applying to the pensions industry is yet to materialise, despite the government committing to it more than a year ago.
The new ban on PPI and personal injury cold calling means that people now need to opt in to receiving calls. Firms will need to check for consent before contacting consumers. They can be fined up to half a million pounds for violating the new rules.
A similar ban would be especially welcome in the pensions area, because pensions scams typically begin with a cold call. In February 2018, for example, Radio 4’s Money Box programme reported that people are being scammed into transferring money from their pension to fraudsters.
The government announced in August 2017 that a ban on pensions cold calling would come into force, but so far it hasn’t been implemented. A consultation about the ban ran from 20 July to 17 August 2018, so hopefully the ban itself will follow soon.
David Slater, Retirement Line CEO, believes that a ban is necessary: “A ban would deter some fraudsters and send an important message to the public that if they are contacted out of the blue they need to tread very carefully. Some scammers would of course continue to prey on people’s trust, but a well-publicised ban would help to encourage consumers to be wary of unsolicited contact.
“I also believe that consumers should only deal with firms that are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Financial Services Register shows details of companies and individuals that are regulated by the FCA. I would urge consumers to check the Register before having any dealings with an organisation offering financial services.”
If you visit the Financial Services Register and enter Retirement Line’s registered number - 726601 - in the search box, you will find details of our permission to provide regulated products and services.
Retirement Line believes that cold calling is not appropriate in financial matters of such importance as pensions. We always obtain consent to contact people, for example by making it clear that we may call enquirers to offer further assistance after providing them with an online quote.
Are you concerned that someone approaching you about your pension is a scammer? The Pensions Regulator offers information to help you at www.pension-scams.com, including a pension scams guide.