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Gov't challenged in Lords over pension cold callers

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Gov't challenged in Lords over pension cold callers

The government has been challenged in the House of Lords over why it does not do more to stop cold calls offering free pension reviews and unregulated investments.

In a written question Ros Altmann, the former pensions minister and a member of the House of Lords, asked why there was no ban on cold calls offering free pension reviews of unregulated investments, when there is already a ban on cold calls regarding mortgages.

In response, Thomas Aston (Lord Aston of Hyde) said the government would take action against pension cold calling, ‘if there is a case for change’.

Aston said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) prohibition on cold calling applies to financial promotion of mortgages by FCA regulated firms.

He said under the FCA rules regulated entities, including mortgage providers, are not allowed to engage in real-time financial promotion of mortgages.

Regarding pension cold calls he said the government tightened controls on cold calling earlier this year, when amending the privacy and electronic communications regulations, by requiring organisations making direct marketing calls to display their calling line identification.

He said: ‘These controls need time to bed in before considering whether further changes, specific to pensions, are appropriate. If there is a case for change, the Government will take the necessary action.’

Raising the question of cold calling in the Lords could add impetus to one IFA’s petition to ban all cold calling connected to pensions and investments. 

IFA Darren Cooke, director of Derbyshire-based Red Circle Financial Planning, launched the petition calling for the government to make it illegal to cold call people offering investments or free pension reviews. 

It states: 'Cold calling on investments and pensions to members of the public very often leads to unregulated investments and scams. Banning cold calling would dramatically reduce the number of people falling prey to fraudsters and losing their savings and pensions.’ 

You can view and sign the petition here

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