Broker defies cold-calling ban

Ramesh Sharma

April 1, 2006

With a number of intermediaries admitting the practice of cold-calling still exists within the regulated market, an anonymous broker admitted he relied on cold-calling to generate most of his business. He said: “90 per cent of my business is conducted by using cold-calls. If the FSA wants to come and investigate me I will say that the clients rang me up. There are always ways round it. For example, I could set up a marketing company and generate leads in this way, before handing them over to follow up.”

He reiterated his opinion that the FSA are a toothless organisation. “What is the FSA going to do?” he argued. “For the last 15 years I have been using cold-calling as a way to generate business and if I have to stop cold-calling, then I will close my shop down. I honestly think it is an infringement of my human rights, not being able to cold-call potential clients.”

He added his belief that regulation had decimated the financial market, with many intermediaries afraid to stand up to the regulator. “Just study the effect of regulation on the financial sales market over the last 15 years. In 1990 there were around 350,000 people out there selling financial products in the UK. There are now about 55,000.”

Responding to the allegations, Robin Gordon Walker, spokesperson at the FSA, said: “We take cold-calling very seriously and it is not allowed, unless a firm has a prior relationship with the client. Firms’ should not do it. However, we cannot comment on particular firms and any investigations we are currently conducting into these matters.”

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