Intrinsic AR cold-calling prospective pensioners

Intrinsic AR cold-calling prospective pensioners

Network Intrinsic is using a call centre which is part of holding company Save Britain Money – made famous by a BBC documentary and currently in administration – to cold-call people to offer a pension review and help in accessing pots.

In a follow-up email to one of its cold calls, an employee at call centre SBM Financial Solutions said: “A free pension review would highlight how your pension is performing and will allow you to take control of your finances”.

During the cold call another employee offered a pension review. While he made it clear SBM Financial Solutions itself was not offering financial advice, he asked the targeted person if his pension was frozen and if he was able to cash in his pension.

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The employee said the review, which would be with an FCA-registered financial adviser, would help the man access his funds as older pension schemes could not facilitate cashing in, while other providers did not look favourably on it as it would mean they would “lose money”.

When pressed, the employee said the FCA-registered financial adviser was Intrinsic, which is owned by Old Mutual.

Asked if a person could cash in a £32,000 pot, the caller said if it was done in line with legislation the only issue was tax.

The call centre employee asked for a postcode to set up the “no-obligation” and free one-hour pension review.

Following a request to send more information by email, the call centre’s reply stated that according to estimates, millions of pension holders were being affected by the “pension crisis”.

Save Britain Money went into administration last October, and Richard Hawes and Matthew Cowlishaw at Deloitte LLP were appointed as administrators.

The Swansea-based firm had featured on a BBC3 fly-on-the-wall documentary called The Call Centre, which followed the ups and downs of life in the office.

Set up in September 2013, SBM Financial Solutions are appointed representatives of Intrinsic which was acquired by Old Mutual Global Investors last year. This is confirmed by Intrinsic and the FCA.

However, SBM Financial Solutions has used logos referencing awards given to Save Britain Money. A spokesman for Best Companies, which gave it a three-star award in 2013, said: “The matter has now been escalated and we will be contacting SBM Financial Solutions to request it removes the Best Companies Accreditation logo which was awarded to Save Britain Money previously.”

What you can expect from your pension review? According to SBM:

· Clear straightforward advice from our network of IFAs who by law have to give you the best advice.

· A better understanding of the pension process.

· Completely free-of-charge pension review.

· You have total control throughout the whole process.

· Peace of mind that your pension will serve your needs in retirement.

Right to reply

A spokesman for Intrinsic said: “Our relationship is solely with SBM Financial Solutions Ltd, which is an Appointed Representative of Intrinsic. SBM FS are required to have approved scripts when contacting potential customers which meet all regulatory requirements.