Nuisance calls affecting half of UK adults

Ryan Bembridge

July 13, 2016

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Half of UK adults are getting pestered by phone calls promoting high risk financial products, research from the StepChange Debt Charity shows.

The charity called for the Financial Conduct Authority and the Treasury to ban unsolicited phone calls promoting high risk products.

One in eight are being called every day about risky products such as payday loans that can worsen people’s debt problems.

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Mike O’Connor, chief executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said: “When someone is already in financial difficulty, they may be at their lowest ebb and feel they have no option but to make quick decisions through desperation, which can bring devastating consequences.

“Before taking out any financial product, people need to know whether it is right for them, work out if they can afford it and shop around for the best deal, but unsolicited phone calls can take these key decisions away from them. It is not a good way to sell credit or financial services and it is certainly not a good way to buy them.

“The FCA is currently reviewing nuisance calls, but in the wake of overwhelming evidence of their widespread nature and the damaging consequences, it needs to ban all unsolicited real-time promotion of high-risk financial products and HMT must give it the additional powers it needs to do so.

“A full and complete ban would not only protect those already in financial difficulty, it would also prevent further damage to the millions of people whose phones keep ringing and ringing.”

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