MONEY MATTERS by Scott Woods of Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding

Staff at Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Staff at Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Watch out for ‘unscrupulous fraudsters’ as new freedoms take effect
0
Have your say

Impartial advice for you to miss pension hits

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is encouraging consumers to seek impartial advice so as to not fall victim to pension scams. 
With the 2014 Budget pension freedoms having come into force on Monday, the FCA has issued fresh warnings over pension scams, urging consumers to be on the look-out for “dodgy investments” by getting impartial advice - either in the form of regulated financial advice or Pension Wise guidance. 
The FCA said the new pension flexibilities could mean thousands of consumers who make retirement decisions will face “unscrupulous fraudsters” offering them “dodgy investments” with high returns. 
The regulator added that it wanted consumers to get impartial advice before making a decision on their retirement income, reject cold calls and check the FCA’s warning list on companies. 
FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said: “The new pension flexibilities will offer people the freedom to make choices that suit their plans for retirement. “But this is exactly the time when people need to be alert to the dangers of scammers offering opportunities that are too good to be true.” 
Previously, the FCA has urged consumers to seek impartial advice from a financial adviser before making an investment. 
“If you have been unexpectedly approached about an investment opportunity that you are interested in pursuing, you should seek impartial advice from a financial advisor unconnected to the firm that has contacted you,” an FCA spokesman said. 
“Professional advice isn’t free but financial advisers should provide you with a professional assessment of the risks and potential benefits of the investment.

Money Matters by Scott Woods.

Money Matters by Scott Woods.

“They will also let you know if they have concerns that the investment is riskier than you were told or simply unlikely to work out as promised.”

‘This is exactly the time when people need to be alert to the dangers of scammers offering opportunities that are too good to be true.’

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority