House of Lords to force government to honour promise to ban cold-calling

MINISTERS face a Lords defeat today over their failure to protect pensioners and debt-laden households from cold-calling.

A cross-party group of peers led by ex-pensions minister Ros Altmann will try to force the Government to honour its commitment to ban cold-calling in law by proposing an amendment to its Financial Guidance and Claims Bill.

The House of Lords are set to force government to crackdown on cold-callers  – who target older and vulnerable people
PA:Press Association

Despite promising action to crackdown on cold-calling, ministers have ruled out any legislation until 2020.

But Baroness Altmann said millions more people will have been plagued by nuisance calls, debts and have fallen victim to scams.

Her amendment, which has support from across the Lords, would ban cold-calling for pensions in the same way it is banned for mortgages and would outlaw the use of information obtained by cold-calling.

It would also force firms to abide by a “special duty of care” for customers plagued by debt – giving essential breathing space for people to manage their financial affairs.

Baroness Altmann is leading the cross-party House of Lords effort
PA:Press Association

Experts say this is particularly important now ahead of an expected rise in interest rates that will deliver an extra hit on those in debt.

Ministers yesterday told peers they were “committed in concept” to introducing more breathing space.

Last night Baroness Altmann said she was “sad to have to vote against the Government but I am passionate about protecting consumers”.

Peers are acting after MPs failed to take action – despite promising to crackdown on the nuisance calls
Getty Images – Getty

She added: “I do not want to vote against the Government, but I came into politics with the aim of improving consumer protection and financial education, ensuring customers were treated more fairly by financial firms.

“This is something I am passionate about and it saddens me that I have had to join with Opposition parties to try to force such measures through, when it is so clear they are important for protecting the public.

Baroness Altmann is passionate about banning cold-calling

“It is not good enough for Ministers to make promises, when the legislative chance arises we have to take it.

“Now is the time and I do hope the Government will listen to reason.”

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