Cold-calling still rife within industry

Ramesh Sharma

January 21, 2006

A number of brokers have contacted MI with examples of cold-calling and a belief that the practice is still widespread within the industry, despite the Financial Services Authority (FSA) outlawing this method of collecting clients.

Sarah Gwilt, mortgage adviser at Dickson Lishman Prince, said cold-calling still exists: “I had someone cold-call me. I don’t know how they managed to get my number. I don’t do cold-calling and if people are doing it then they need to be stopped. They are clearly going against FSA regulation and rules, but this really makes you wonder what else the FSA is missing.”

Alan Lakey, senior partner at Highclere Financial Services, added: “I am not surprised cold-calling still happens. I think people are still operating under the old Mortgage Code rules with regards to cold-calling, and I guess it is quite easy to get away with. The only way it would be brought up is if a complaint was made to the FSA or during a compliance visit firms had to list where they got their clients from.”

He went on to admit that he called all his clients, but only to discuss specific issues, and said companies cold-calling should be hit with a ban or financial penalty.

Robin Gordon-Walker, spokesperson for the FSA, confirmed the regulator would take a close look into any examples of cold-calling. “The FSA is always interested to hear of any firms cold-calling clients and the regulations on cold-calling are very clear,” he said.

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