Pension freedom inquiry launches with probe into scams

As the number of scams continue to rise, advisers have seen their FSCS levies rocket.

Last week FTAdviser learned of businesses receiving regulatory bills up to 61 per cent higher than last year’s invoice, while some advisers claimed even larger jumps in costs.

For many the primary cause of the hike stemmed from an increase in the FSCS levy.

In an update this morning, St James’s Place confirmed its FSCS levy had increased by 72 per cent from the previous year.

The advice giant said: "Our contribution to the FSCS levy increased substantially, and disappointingly, during the period to £27.8m, up from £16.1m for the six months to 30 June 2019 and £22.3m for the year to 31 December 2019.”

Mr Agathangelou said: “There is a direct correlation between the size of the levy and the level of pension scams. If we are able to get scams under control it will be better for everybody.

“It is an out of control situation of a pandemic scale and it needs to be sorted.”

He added: “It is in everyone’s best interest to work together and think about what they can do to help the WPC at this time.”

Last week (July 22), Mr Agathangelou said the pensions industry was not doing enough to support victims of scams and was failing to use its experiences in its own scam prevention work.

He said victims should be used more often in this work as they have “first hand experience” of how fraudsters operate and are a “treasure chest of knowledge”.

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