Led by John Sharkey, the Liberal Democrats campaigned in the House of Lords to end the scourge of cold-calling in relation to pensions, claims management and other financial services.
The Government have now committed to a total ban on pensions cold-calling, as well as prohibitions on other forms of cold-calling if these are shown to be detrimental.
The Lib Dems also secured a provision requiring people accessing their pensions to be referred to guidance, unless they explicitly opt out.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, LibDem spokesperson for Work and Pensions says
“I am delighted that the government has seen reason and moved to clamp down on the scourge of cold-calling.
“Every year millions of people are harassed and deceived by cold-callers, and in some cases, the financial consequences can be severe.
“These measures will greatly improve the situation, and I will be watching the government closely to ensure they do not backtrack.
“None of this would have been possible without the valiant efforts of Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords, led by John Sharkey.
“Not only did the Lib Dems table and win the amendments that led to today’s ban on cold-calling, they also secured provisions requiring people accessing their pensions to be referred to guidance.
“This will ensure that people truly make the best of their hard-earned savings.”
LibDem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Wealden Chris Bowers adds
“It often takes being on the receiving end of a call from a supposedly concerned person, trying to explain why you’re very vulnerable unless you take out their financial product or service, to really understand just how frightening this can be. It is a form of intimidation of weaker members of society, and I’m delighted the Liberal Democrats have achieved this major safeguard for people being ambushed by phone in the comfort of their homes.
“The Lib Dems are pleased when businesses make legitimate profits, but we have no time for profits based on intimidating people into parting with money without the chance to think it through calmly.”