The Pensions Regulator’s is touring the UK over the next three months meeting financial advisers to help them prevent their clients falling victim to fraudsters.
During July - national scams awareness month – TPR staff are speaking at events organised by the Personal Finance Society (PFS) across the South East, London and the Midlands.
At each venue they will highlight the warning signs of scams, how advisers can ensure their clients don’t fall victim to them and what to do if they think one of their clients has been scammed.
TPR leads Project Bloom, a multi-agency taskforce which is working with government, the pensions industry, law enforcement agencies and other regulators to combat pension scams.
Mike Broomfield, TPR’s head of intelligence, said: “Financial advisers have a key role as the people their clients trust and rely on to keep them informed about the best way to secure their future. By helping advisers stay up to date with the latest information about scams, we can prevent fraudsters from getting their hands on people’s pension funds.”
James Mouland, from West Sussex-based Compass Financial Planning & Employee Benefits, listened to the TPR team at a PFS event in Brighton last week.
He said: “The session was really helpful. At Compass, we recognise how important it is for us to be fully up to speed with the latest intelligence on scams. It means we can keep our clients aware of the key danger signs to look out for so that they are protected against those who are looking to pull the wool over their eyes.”
During July the team will meet advisers in Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Derbyshire, Birmingham, Shropshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and London. Over the coming months they will also travel to the North West, Yorkshire, Wales, the South West, the North East, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, East Anglia and the South Coast.
But Tom McPhail, head of policy at Hargeaves Lansdown, criticised the moves as "a waste of time and money".
"Most people at risk from a scam don’t have an adviser; most people with an adviser aren’t at risk from a scam. It is hard to believe the regulator couldn’t invest their resources more effectively elsewhere.
"We’re also very concerned the government has shelved plans to ban cold-calling; this would be more effective than any adviser education programme."