A financial adviser has been fined £130,000 for making more than 100,000 “cold calls” to encourage savers to transfer pensions – as authorities crack down on the recently banned practice.
The charge is the first of its kind and comes after the Government made cold calling regarding a pension illegal in 2019.
CPS Advisory repeatedly made unauthorised calls to people about their pensions and the Information Commissioner’s Office took a dim view of the practice commonly associated with scammers.
Any unsolicited call regarding a pension is a breach of the law since 2019 with research showing there were as many as eight scam calls per second before it was banned.
Calls specifically about your retirement savings must only be from companies authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, the City watchdog, or from a pension scheme you already have.
In all cases savers must have provided consent to be contacted or have an existing relationship with the caller .
The ICO can issue fines of up to £500,000 to rule-breaking firms.
Andy Curry of the ICO said unwanted pension calls cause real distress and even significant financial hardship to often vulnerable people, who can end up losing their hard-earned pension pot to scammers.
CPS Advisory was found to have made 106,987 calls between January and April 2019. It was neither a trustee or manager of a pension scheme nor was it authorised by the FCA.
Mr Curry said: “This company clearly flouted the law when they should have known better, ignorance is no excuse.”
The cold calling ban was put in place to prevent people falling victim to scams and being defrauded of their life savings.
A spokesman from the Pensions Regulator, said: “If you are contacted out of the blue about a pension ‘opportunity’ – that’s illegal and probably a scam.”
Those who receive an unsolicited call about their pension should either hang up or get any information you can about the caller without giving away any personal information yourself.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of nuisance calls, texts or emails, should report the incident to the ICO with the details online or by calling 0303 123 1113.