A Freedom of Information request submitted by law firm RPC has revealed that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) received 58 'whistle-blower' reports on ‘Pressure Selling’ in 2019-2020 which is up from the previous year of 47.
The report shows pressure selling is steadily rising from 2016-2017 where the regulator received just 16 reports.
A rise in the reports suggests that the high-pressure selling techniques have started to return with some firms.
‘Pressure selling’ is where the sale of products and services are offered to customers in an aggressive or harsh manner.
The FCA has restricted financial services firms from relying on commission led selling tactics since the Retail Distribution Review when advisers that were not already charging fees to disclose fees upfront and move away from commission back in 2013.
RPC partner Jonathan Cary said “The FCA is making sure these techniques used by financial services firms a decade ago are not used again and customers are treated fairly”.
“Firms must have policies in place to ensure the protection of the customer”.
Sadly, not just in financial services but in many sales roles, if you are paid on results, it may lead to pressure to sell 'hard' to keep yourself in a job or to sell even more. The problem is that financial services decisions affect the rest of our lives hence the FCA increasingly restricting poor techniques, volume led sales incentives, cold calling and fee disclosure.