Many financial advisers buy “pension leads”. These are hot prospects keen to take action to change their financial circumstances. Many of these leads are legitimately sourced, but many aren’t.
If you spend time on Linked in or Twitter or Facebook, you will see adverts that look like this.
The headline says that you will get “trusted advice”, but if you go to the site , you discover something different. This is what you are eventually told.
In accordance with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, Pension Services do not provide any financial advice whatsoever. We are simply a lead generation website that puts you in touch with a pension review expert.
This is how the “business model’ works
1) We will give you call once you have submitted your contact details and pension size to us via the contact website form
2) We arrange a meeting with yourself, as we have IFA and pension review experts based all around the UK
3) We meet with you and discuss your pension, we provide honest advice and it maybe a case of leaving your pension where it is if it performing well.
4) In most cases our customers tend to want to release cash, this could be an option for you depending on your age, and we will discuss this option with you, but if you do not quality for this then we can discuss other options during your free pension review.
5) We then answer any questions or concerns you may have during our meeting and pension review with you
What you’ve just read is the small print. The advisers are “FSA” advisers, though there is no reference to FSA or FCA authorisation anywhere on the site.
Here is the large print. It is aimed at the most vulnerable in society, those with no financial education, with debt and without the wit to spot what is implausible to well-educated and financially literate people.
The people who have written the following advert have no knowledge of pensions but worse – they have no knowledge of morality. They are no better than common criminals.
So just who is buying leads from Pension-Services? I suspect that it is not the kind of IFA who is booked into the Great Pension Debate. I suspect it is the kind of cold-caller who we have exposed working out of Geneva.
Lead sourcing of this kind fuels the boiler-rooms of Europe and sends money out of good quality approved pensions into the SIPPS that invest in Capita Oak , Trafalgar and the host of other scams exposed by Angie Brooks, Chris Lean and others.
Legitimised by you – sold in your name!
Almost every part of the pensions industry is misrepresented by Pensions
These are the providers they “work with”
I had originally thought that these might be the recipients of money liberated from elsewhere, but Pension-Services are far bolder than that!
There are warnings against scammers and the Pension Regulators Scorpion makes numerous appearances – associated with some remarkable mumbo-jumbo about human behaviour!
The aforementioned FSA advisers are your protection against the diabolical liberties occasioned by “pension scammers” who can “sell your pension”, “cash in your pension chips” etc..
Where confusion reigns , the scammer gains
This is the souk where philosophy , regulators and insurance are thrown together. It is a financial services car-boot sale. It is Bartholomew Fair.
But we are all implicated. Insurance companies, Regulators, Financial Advisers (I didn’t see actuaries but I’m sure they were there somewhere!).
This confusion is legitimised by our acquiescence. So long as websites like this can be publicised on social media alongside legitimate propositions, they will send out leads to Geneva or Malta – or (heaven help us) some UK based boiler-room operation.
People will “trust-bust” and HMRC will chase after them for the 55% tax-charge – after all the initial money has been stolen. People will lose their life-savings and we will complain that this should never have happened.
We are all complicit if we do not take action.
I am taking action in writing this blog, you may wish to write to your contacts at the FCA and tPR and ask them politely to chase these scammers down.
What I would like to see is where these leads generated are being sent, who is buying them and who is providing the “FSA advice” promised on http://www.pension-services.com .
For this is the origination of the scamming industry and if we can kill-off this nonsense, we can starve the rest of them of their oxygen