Pensions cold-calling ban - how AJ Bell played its part in protecting savers

We are delighted by the Government’s recent decision to protect savers by banning pensions cold-calling as part of a wider crackdown on retirement scams. The move follows a huge amount of work by AJ Bell, both in the media and behind the scenes, throughout 2016.

According to our Senior Analyst, Tom Selby, it has often been a frustrating campaign: “There have been times this year when we have felt we were banging our heads against a brick wall. Ros Altmann, then Pensions Minister, attempted to brush off our arguments for a ban while in office – only to change her mind when she left Government, becoming a vocal supporter of the cause.

“While others simply sat back and accepted the Government would not take action on pensions cold-calling, we kept the pressure on through a steady stream of press releases and comment pieces urging policymakers to rethink their stance. This was critical in drawing attention to the successful petition launched and promoted by IFA Darren Cooke.”

As the public face of our campaign, Tom has been supported throughout by our Head of PR, Charlie Musson, and by our Technical Team – Gareth, Charlene, Martin, Lisa and Mike – who have been instrumental in driving things forward and providing new ideas to keep the story alive.

In total this year AJ Bell has had around 50 press mentions on pension scams and cold-calling, almost certainly the most of any financial services company. Tom also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s MoneyBox calling for the ban to be implemented, and on the Saturday after it was confirmed he appeared twice on Sky News to discuss the ban’s implications and what people can do to avoid being scammed.

Pension scams are a clear and present danger to our customers, the reputation of pensions and AJ Bell as a business. If the actions taken by the Government put a serious dent in fraudsters’ ‘business’ models then everyone should benefit.

Below is a selection of articles featuring AJ Bell on pensions cold-calling in 2016:

Senior Analyst

Tom Selby is a multi-award-winning former financial journalist, specialising in pensions and retirement issues. He spent almost six years at a leading adviser trade magazine, initially as Pensions Reporter before becoming Head of News in 2014.

Tom joined AJ Bell as Senior Analyst in April 2016. He has a degree in Economics from Newcastle University.