The government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are "keeping under review" suggestions the regulator should update its rules on regulated firms buying leads obtained by cold-calling.
A number of respondents to the consultation on banning pensions cold calling - the response to which was published yesterday (29 October) - suggested the FCA should update its rules to include a ban on regulated firms buying leads obtained from cold-calling.
Respondents suggested the change would remove a source of business for lead generators who most commonly undertake cold calling, removing the incentive.
Monday's consultation response revealed the government and FCA were keeping this proposal under review as the effectiveness of the ban is monitored.
The government's consultation received some 40 responses from various bodies and firms. The responses overwhelmingly supported banning pensions cold calling.
The report outlined that only those who were FCA-authorised or a trustee or manager of an occupational or personal pension scheme would be able to call - and only if the recipient had consented to such calls or if the recipient had an existing client relationship with the caller where it would be reasonable to accept cold calls on pensions.
The government noted the above exceptions were not extended to lead-generation firms. Were the FCA to introduce a ban on regulated firms purchasing leads obtained by cold-calling, this would mean regulated firms would be unable to work with unregulated introducers.
The current maximum penalty for those in breach of the rules is £500,000. The government has said it intends to lay regulations and put them into force as soon as possible.
'Long time coming'
A ban on cold-calling has had an arduous journey to becoming law. The Financial Guidance and Claims bill, which included the legislation introducing the ban, received Royal Assent in May. In June, however, the Treasury confirmed the implementation of the ban would be delayed until autumn while it consulted further on "technicalities" in relation to the ban.
Aegon head of pensions Kate Smith said: "Finally, subject to parliamentary approval, the government is going to implement the ban on pension cold-calling. Although we still have not got a date, we welcome this commitment and are hopeful the ban will become a reality sooner rather than later.
"The pension cold-calling ban has been a long time coming and, although it will not be the panacea, it will go some way to protecting people from pension scammers."
She added: "For the ban to be effective, it needs to be accompanied by a public awareness campaign. So we are pleased to see the government will work with partners to make sure people are aware pension cold-calling will be illegal, once the ban is in place."
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