ICO fines Parkin Beacher £50,000 over pension cold calling

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK has fined Halifax-based Parkin Beacher Ltd (PBL), which also operates under the trading name Your Pension Options, £50,000 for making illegal marketing calls to people about their pensions.

As reported by our sister title, Pensions Age, the ICO stated that the business had called people about a possible pension review, with a view to arrange an introduction to an advisor, when they are not authorised to do so given the introduction of the pensions cold calling ban in 2019.

This ban made it illegal for companies to make nuisance calls to people about their pension schemes, except where the caller is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or is the trustee or manager of an occupational or personal pension scheme, and the recipient of the call consents to calls, or has an existing relationship with the caller.

The ICO received 16 complaints from people about the company's activities, although the company has since admitted to making 96,817 calls.

According to ICO’s investigation, PBL sourced the data for its calls from a third-party data supplier that obtained the data from various websites, which required those signing up to them to agree to possible marketing from long lists of sectors and organisations.

However, people appeared unable to select which, if any, they were happy to have their details passed on to, or receive marketing material from, with ICO therefore concluding that PBL therefore did not have informed consent from the people it called.

In light of this, the ICO has also issued PBL with an Enforcement Notice ordering them to stop making further calls.

ICO head of investigations, Andy Curry, commented: ”Cold calls are a common way of attempting to defraud people out of their pensions and we will take tough action where we find companies carrying out this kind of marketing.

“The law was updated specifically to protect these often vulnerable people and their retirement funds.

“Companies are responsible for knowing the law and following it. We have a range of powers and enforcement action which we can and will take on behalf of the public to put a stop to the activities of unscrupulous companies.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


Podcast: The benefits of private equity in pension fund portfolios
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, in which stock markets have seen increased volatility, combined with global low interest rates has led to alternative asset classes rising in popularity. Private equity is one of the top runners in this category, and for good reason.

In this podcast, Munich Private Equity Partners Managing Director, Christopher Bär, chats to European Pensions Editor, Natalie Tuck, about the benefits private equity investments can bring to pension fund portfolios and the best approach to take.

Podcast - The power of three: Using Common Contractual Funds to improve tax outcomes for investors
Large asset owners are still investing in equities in a way where they are taxed on their income. The implication is that they get a poorer return. They need to, and can, improve this, but how?

In this podcast, AMX Head of Client and Manager Development, Aaron Overy, and AMX Product Tax Specialist, Kevin Duggan, discuss with European Pensions Editor, Natalie Tuck, about three options to help ensure good withholding tax outcomes for institutional investors.
Mitigating risk
BNP Paribas Asset Management’s head of pension solutions, Julien Halfon, discusses equity hedging with Laura Blows

Europe’s pensions challenges
Francesca Fabrizi meets Matti Leppälä, Secretary General and CEO of PensionsEurope, to discuss the key aims and objectives of the association today.