MPs question whether pension cold call ban goes far enough

There are concerns among MPs that the cold call ban will not protect consumers pensions from unregulated introducers who use face-to-face marketing methods.

Set to ban pension cold calls, the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill received Royal Assent earlier this week, and is due to become effective next month.

However, the scope of the legislation has come under scrutiny, particularly in terms of its effectiveness in addressing all forms of ‘cold-calling’.

Led by chairman and MP Frank Field, the work and pensions select committee have written to the economic secretary, requesting further information as to how the ban will actually operate in practice.

The letter highlights specific examples which the committee are concerned about, including a case where members of a pension scheme were targeted in person by introducers working on behalf of a financial advice firm.

Worry over the impact of face-to-face marketing was conveyed by Field I the letter, who wrote: “When the ‘cold call’ is in person, it is not simply a matter of putting the phone down or deleting a spam email.”

He also questions the extent of the Bill’s application, asking whether it will cover in-person unsolicited direct pension marketing as well as that which Is made via electronic means and telephone calls.

The MP also questions whether other activity in connection with pensions, such as the promotion of transfers by unregulated introducers, should come under the regulatory scope of the Financial Conduct Authority.

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