The Treasury has chosen the date of publication of the Brexit white paper and the visit of the US President to sneak out a written statement to Parliament admitting further delays in the ban on pensions cold-calling, according to Royal London.
Under the terms of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018, the government was required either to bring forward its plans for a ban on cold calling by the end of June or explain why it had failed to do so during July. In a little-noticed written statement yesterday (shown below) the Economic Secretary to the Treasury said that because of the ‘complexity’ of the issue there will now be a further period of consultation on the draft regulations required to implement the ban. These would then be debated in Parliament in the Autumn but it seems unlikely that the ban would come into force until 2019 at the earliest.
Royal London was the first major pension provider to back campaigners’ calls for a ban. Commenting on this further delay and on the timing of the statement, Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London said:
"The Treasury has chosen a good day to bury bad news. Whilst everyone’s eyes were focused on the Brexit white paper and the visit of the US president, they decided to admit officially that the cold-calling ban is going to be further delayed. Nobody doubts that if this issue was a real priority for the government a ban would already be in place right now. The repeated delays mean yet more innocent people will be scammed out of their life savings by crooks who ring them up out of the blue with persuasive offers and pressure sales techniques. It is understandable that the government is embarrassed by this delay, but now they need to pull out all the stops to get this legislation through and in force."
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Notes to editors
The full statement, issued yesterday, reads:
Made on: 12 July 2018
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Update on the pensions cold calling ban
I have today laid before Parliament a Ministerial Statement to set out government progress on the ban on pensions cold calling, as required under the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018.
Pensions cold calling is an important and complex issue. Pensions scams can have devastating consequences and cold calling is the most common method used to initiate pensions scams, so the government has taken the time to ensure the ban works for consumers. The government will imminently publish a consultation seeking views on a set of draft regulations to ban pensions cold calling. Once we have considered all responses to the consultation, in the Autumn we intend to lay regulations under the affirmative procedure and subject to parliamentary approval bring the regulations into force as soon as possible thereafter.
About Royal London
Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June.
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