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MPs fear cold call ban leaves loophole for introducers

Work and pensions select committee chair Frank Field

MPs are concerned the cold call ban is unlikely to protect consumers and their pensions from unregulated introducers who do face-to-face marketing.

Yesterday the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, which bans pension cold calls, received Royal Assent and is due to be effective from June.

But the work and pensions select committee led by chairman and MP Frank Field has written to the government asking for more detail about the how ban will actually work.

In a letter to the economic secretary to the Treasury and MP John Glen, Field asks how the ban will be enforced against the most aggressive forms of cold calling.

Field references examples the committee came across in its inquiry into the British Steel saga where introducers working on behalf of financial advice firms approached scheme members in person.

Sometimes these firms offered incentives to members, either near their workplaces or at roadshow events organised by the scheme itself for people facing complex choices about their pensions.

In the letter Field says: “It is easy to imagine how a skilled marketer could use the opportunity of a face-to-face conversation to gain the trust of a ‘prospect’ and persuade them into a particular course of action.

“When the ‘cold call’ is in person, it is not simply a matter of putting the phone down or deleting a spam email.”

In the letter Field asks if the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill’s ban on unsolicited direct marketing in connection with pensions applies to in-person approaches as well as telephone calls and electronic communications.

Field also asks if the Treasury is examining the role of unregulated introducers in promoting pension transfers and generating leads for financial advice firms and whether this activity should be brought within the FCA’s remit.

This week Money Marketing wrote about an introducer, Celtic Wealth Management, which was criticised for having access to the financial details of a client of a regulated advice firm when it allegedly had no right to do so.



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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. How scalable is buttonholing individuals, compared to automated calling/spamming/social media engagement?

    The answer, of course, is “not at all”. If someone wants to stand in the rain outside a factory all day, good luck to them – the amount of damage they can do there is pretty limited.

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