The telemarketing industry appears to have escaped a ban on cold calling for pensions after the measure was dropped in the Financial Guidance & Claims Bill.
While some – including members of the House of Lords – have criticised the decision and vowed to fight on, there had been fears that it could deal a potentially fatal blow to the outbound telemarketing industry.
While stopping short of banning cold calling outright, many argued that the ban could easily have been expanded to other areas.
Plans for the scheme – announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the Autumn Statement – followed a Parliamentary petition, which also gained support from leading financial services companies, including Royal London.
They argued that fraudsters were exploiting the current rules; losses from pension scams hit a record high of nearly £9m in March, according to figures from the City of London Police.
The Government then launched a consultation, which was due to be published before last month’s General Election. But it now appears to have been dropped.
Former pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann, a vocal supporter of the ban, said: “If others do not, I hope to table a probing amendment in Committee on the issue, as it is one that I feel so strongly about and had hoped would be resolved. It is important that we can give the public the message that if someone cold calls them about their pension, they are breaking the law, so just hang up.”
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