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MP tells FCA to stop 'pussyfooting around' pension fraud

Conservative MP Julian Knight says the financial regulator needs to crack down on unauthorised pension 'introducers'.

MP tells FCA to stop 'pussyfooting around' pension fraud

Conservative MP for Solihull Julian Knight has said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) needs to stop 'pussyfooting around' the problem of unauthorised pension providers switching people into high risk investments.

The City watchdog has issued a number of warnings over so-called pension 'introducers' following the government's pension freedom reforms. Last month it expressed concern over how such unauthorised firms influence independent financial advisers (IFAs) to move their clients' pension cash into unsuitable assets.

Speaking to Citywire's New Model Adviser®, Knight said: 'I have had several IFAs come to me to say that they have quite serious concerns that they have been approached by fellow intermediaries, introducers, to bring about forms of pension unlocking effectively, which are then put into areas such as overseas property.'

Knight, who was speaking ahead of a House of Commons debate on scams, which he had proposed, said the FCA and other regulators need to act now to try and tackle these companies.

‘I think the regulator needs to challenge these companies quite strongly. There is still unfortunately too much pussyfooting around when it comes to this particular area. These new pension freedoms are welcome but at the same time they are not designed to allow people to feast on a lack of information and awareness of investors.

‘Therefore I would say to the FCA and to the Financial Ombudsman Service that they need to up their game in relation to this and there needs to be clearer messaging.’

Knight said he was worried the FCA was moving too slowly and it needed to looking at this issue ‘right now, not in three months’ time’.

He also said tackling pension scams required more work to stop confidential information being passed on and provide more clarity on where online data is used.

‘A lot of the information that is getting through to these fraudsters is purchased through legitimate means, but at the same time being farmed in a legitimate way which I think doesn’t make it that clear,' he said.

'We need to have a little health warning on there to say this information will be sold on.’ 

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?

Hampshire cynic.

Sep 11, 2016 at 10:38

I quite agree, the time for action is now. Strong prison terms for any fraud would push these people out of business. Along with a good stretch inside they and their families should make full restitution to the victims, no legal aid, AND how about making such criminals pay for their 'board and lodging' at say £60,000 pa?

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