The Personal Finance Society has call on the government to extend its ban on cold calling to cover general investments in addition to pensions.
The professional body’s submission to a consultation on pension scams calls for the cold calling ban to include all electronic communication channels, including emails, texts, promotional brochures and social media on topics of pensions and general investments.
Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards said that the cold calling ban must be extended as far as is necessary to “stamp out the work of financial predetors who continue to prey on the vulnerable in our community”.
Pension scams come in many forms and those behind them will continue to try different channels to reach their victims, Mr Richards added.
“We must also remain wary of new methods adopted by cold callers and scammers, and ensure that we have the legislative flexibility to prosecute against innovative scammers in the market.”
The Personal Finance Society’s campaign against cold caller and scammers includes a national anti-scamming initiative called “ScamSmart”, developed in conjunction with the Financial Conduct Authority.
“We believe the Government, regulators and financial advice professionals have a common and joint responsibility to act in the interests of consumers by seeking out and eliminating the unscrupulous behaviour of cold callers, scammers and fraudsters,” Mr Richards said.
The Association of Professional Financial Advisers has welcomed the government’s proposals on scams and supported the ban on the cold calling on pension transfers - but has warned care is needed to protect the ordinary marketing activities of financial advisers.
Among Apfa’s concerns was the fact that the cold calling ban could prevent advisers from marketing their activities, particularly from offering free initial consultations.
It also raised concerns that it would act as a barrier to entry for financial advisers, hampering their attempts to build their client base through lead generators.