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Calls for FCA to intervene in cold-call crackdown

She warned: "The messages to customers need to be clear - nobody is allowed to call you out of the blue about pensions. If you request a call that's fine. If your pension firm wants to reach you they can write and quote your policy number."

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has meanwhile urged ministers to go a step beyond simply banning pension cold-calling, saying scammers would still be able to carry out cold calling from overseas, where the ban doesn’t apply.

It called for a pension scheme authorisation process to stop rogue firms from entering the market and to tackle scammers using existing schemes as a vehicle for their activities. 

The campaign partnership between the FCA and TRP is part of an anti-pension scamming task force - Project Bloom - in which the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Treasury and the City of London Police are taking part.

Ricky Chan, director and financial planner at IFS Wealth and Pensions, said a public awareness campaign played an important part in tackling cold calling, but increased awareness of where to find good quality, regulated financial advisers was equally important in tackling this issue.

He said: "An outright 'cold calling ban' goes some way to reducing scams but it certainly isn’t the 'be all and end all'.

"This is because pension scams are generally committed by unregulated outfits, hence logically, if they already know they’re committing a crime, why would they care to abide by a cold calling ban."

"The advert does well to highlight potential scams and [for people] to visit the FCA ScamSmart website, but it needs to direct clients to where to find either guidance or regulated advice."

Consumer group Which is calling on the government to give new powers to the Information Commissioner’s Office to introduce fines of up to £500,000 for company bosses whose firms plague people with unsolicited cold calls.

Which alleged organisations that have been penalised often try to wriggle out of paying financial penalties by declaring bankruptcy – only to sidestep the law and open up again under a different name.

In October 2016, the government announced measures to fine directors of cold calling companies and said the these fines would be introduced by spring 2017.

But delays meant the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched its consultation into the proposed fines in May of this year and the consultation closed today (21 August).

rosie.quigley@ft.com