The work and pensions select committee said in a report: “We were concerned to learn that the FCA’s dedicated scams team only consisted of approximately 10 people out of 3,700 FCA staff.
“We recommend that the FCA review whether it dedicates sufficient resource to combat active pension scams, prevent new pension scams and protect individuals.”
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said that it is “helpful” that the committee continues to stress the importance of close focus on pension scams, as it is “an area where the industry needs to continue to work with the regulator on protecting customers”.
’10 full-time dedicated permanent staff’
An FCA spokesperson said to Portfolio Adviser sister publication International Adviser: “As the FCA explained to the committee, the number of people working on pension scams is far greater than 10.
“Whilst there are 10 full-time dedicated permanent staff working on this, overall, we currently have over 100 full-time staff working on pension scams and similar issues.
“This includes the specialist supervision team, the pension scam intelligence team, the whistleblowing team, the campaigns team, the firm and customer contact centre, as well as other areas around the FCA.”
Widely publicised database needed
The select committee’s report also said that scams not only harm the individual but “cause wider damage to the industry by discouraging potential savers”.
It added that fraudulent schemes “are not a necessary consequence of the pension freedoms”.
“We recommend that the FCAs list of unauthorised firms be expanded into a widely publicised database,” the select committee report said.
“This database should be regularly updated by the range of governmental organisations involved in pension scams and act as a co-ordinated early warning system.”