Three networks have backed IFA Darren Cooke’s petition to ban cold calling for pension sales.

Tenet, Sense and Personal Touch Financial Soutions have all encouraged their members to sign the petition.

Cooke (pictured), director of Derbyshire-based Red Circle Financial Planning, launched the petition after seeing a BBC Panorama feature on ‘pension rip-offs.’

An update sent from Tenet to members of the network said:

‘Tenet, along with other prominent industry figures such as Ros Altmann, is supporting and e-petition asking for cold-calling on investments and pensions to be made illegal.'

The Sense Network has published a blog written by chairman Steve Young who writes ‘financial scams are a cancer eating away at our profession’ and asks for people to help make the practice illegal.

Cooke said he was ‘gob-smacked’ by the support he had received from the networks.

‘I am just a one-man band in Derbyshire, looking after a few customers.

‘I started this up four weeks ago and we are up to 1,600 signatures already,’ said Cooke.

The IFA explained the campaign was more than reaching the 100,000 signatures needed to get the issue debated in parliament.

‘To some extent getting the public awareness as it is about getting it banned.

'If someone contacts you as a cold caller about a pension or investment it is likely to be a scam because there aren't many reputable advisers that use that as a way to contact clients,’ said Cooke.

Mike O'Brien, group brands director at Tenet, said the network supported any call to stop people falling victim to scammers.

'At the moment a lot of consumers are falling victim to unregulated scammers,' he said. 

'Anything which makes it more difficult for them, or prevents such scurrilous practices, has got to be a good thing.'

Last night, Personal Touch also said it would support the petition. Sales and marketing director David Carrington wrote on Twitter: