Regulation 

MP questions McVey on cold calling ban deadline

MP questions McVey on cold calling ban deadline

The Liberal Democrat spokesman for work and pensions has questioned Esther McVey, secretary of state for the department, about a potential delay in the introduction of the pensions cold calling ban.

Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne, has written to Ms McVey pressing for the new rules, which should be laid out before Parliament until the end of June.

Mr Lloyd said: “Introducing a cold calling ban for pensions is something for which there was broad political support and a lot of work has been done in parliament to get it this far.

“The government is rudderless and hopelessly distracted by Brexit but this is an issue of vital importance for many, potentially vulnerable people, so I am urging the government get its act together quickly to meet the deadline for introducing the cold calling ban.”

FTAdviser reported last week that it has been difficult to get the Parliamentary time necessary to table a debate in the House of Commons, which is needed to introduce the new legislation.

The government's plan to introduce a ban on cold-callers who try to scam people out of their pension savings, which will include emails and texts, was announced in August.

It will be enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which recently received new powers to fine bosses of companies which plague people with unsolicited cold calls by as much as £500,000.

In March, HM Treasury introduced an amendment to the Financial Claims and Guidance Act 2018 that stated regulations underpinning the ban on pension-related cold calls should be made by the secretary of state before the end of June.

If the power is not exercised by the end of the month, Ms McVey must explain to parliament why not.

The amendment stated: "The secretary of state may make regulations prohibiting unsolicited direct marketing relating to pensions.

"If before the end of June in any year the secretary of state has not made regulations under this section (whether or not in that year), the secretary of state must publish a statement, by the end of July in that year, explaining why regulations have not been made and setting a timetable for making the regulations, and lay the statement before each House of Parliament."

Some experts have warned that the cold-calling ban will not stop pension scams because scammers will find different ways of contacting their victims.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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