An unauthorised pension introducer has been fined £50,000 for making 96,817 cold calls offering a free pension review.
Why the fine?
Introducers are firms that do not and are not authorised to give financial advice but generate enquiries that they then sell on to financial advisers. The problem being that introducers need to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and therefore are able to mention pensions and retirement planning on their websites and marketing. That said, cold calling is banned by the FCA.
Parking Beacher Limited, trading as Your Pension Options, was fined £50,000 by the Information Commissioners Office. They were fined for buying in client database lists where consumers had not given permission to be contacted or hold data on them. General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) require that firms only hold client data that is relevant to their dealings with that client and positive opt in permissions must be obtained before you can email or contact a consumer. In short, just by a consumer getting a quotation for life insurance from you, you cannot then assume that a client consents to a firm emailing or calling about pensions unless they have given specific, positive permission to be contacted.
Our best guess is that there will be hundreds, if not thousands of firms across many industries that break those regulations every week.
The website and firm is fully committed to GDPR and we only retain data that is relevant and we only contact you if you have given permission when you contact us or book call backs or subscribe to contact you on areas of financial planning that you have specifically given permission.