“I have joined the APPG to help ensure that consumers are treated fairly across the ever-wider range of financial services on the market. People rightly have more freedom than ever in managing their financial affairs but it is vital that the products available – new and old alike – are well-regulated.”
“As SNP spokesperson on the Treasury and member of the Treasury Select Committee, I have seen first-hand how important personal banking services and fairer financial services are, not only to my constituents, but people across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Following the covid crisis it is more important than ever people have access to fair financial advice and support. Glasgow is a city of growth for banking and financial services, with Barclays choosing to establish their new multimillion-pound campus by the river Clyde in my constituency. As a member of the APPG I hope to represent the views of constituents and build better relationships between them, the banking and financial services industry, and the government.”
“Having worked in financial services prior to being elected as a Member of Parliament, I am very aware of how vital the sector is not just for UK plc, but also for the daily lives of people across the country. It gives access to goods and services, puts a roof over our heads, and can help keep our personal finances afloat when we fall on hard times. Ensuring that consumers are properly represented – with banks, Government and regulators held to account – I hope we can ensure that the future of personal banking is brighter than that which has gone before.”
“First do no harm” is a maxim drawn from medicine, but it also needs to be applied to the financial sector. It needs to work for the benefit of society and the real economy, which it now utterly fails to do. Instead it is an extractive, unstable, overly large sector that threatens the security of us all. Changing that is crucial to the future of people and planet, which is why I am an APPG member.”
“Since 2017, pension scammers have managed to scam approximately £30 million from UK pensioners. These are innocent people who have worked hard to live comfortably through retirement but are cheated by cruel individuals who prey on the vulnerable. Anyone can become a victim to a pension scam and once they realise, it’s usually too late to recover all they have lost.
We need preventative and supportive policy initiatives to tackle the UK’s pension scam problem. I am hopeful that MPs from across Parliament working together through this APPG will help see an end to pension scams.”
“As an MP representing a rural constituency that has witnessed a number of bank branch closures in recent years, the importance of ensuring adequate access to both personal and business banking services has never been clearer. As a member of the APPG I will work with other members to ensure that the financial services industry gains a better understanding of the needs of rural communities, in the hope that they will better cater for them in the future.”
“My constituency of Harrow East has an ageing demographic who are continually targeted by scammers. Personally I have received a number of calls regarding a pension review from all over the world, most notably from Kosovo and parts of India.
I am pleased that the APPG will begin by holding an important inquiry into victims who have been approached by offshore “advisers” and look forward to working with colleagues on this important issue.”
“Sadly I have met many people who have fallen victim to all types of scams and have witnessed the detrimental effect this has on an individuals life. The work of this APPG is really important to highlight the issue of pension scams, in order to improve awareness and protection from these terrible operations. Ensuring that individuals hard earned savings are protected is of vital importance and I look forward to working cross party with the APPG on this key issue.”
“Edinburgh is the second largest financial centre in the UK. Many of the employers and employees in my constituency of Edinburgh West are engaged in the retail banking and financial services sector, but crucially my constituents are their customers. I’m delighted this APPG will bring together cross-party MPs to encourage stakeholders to work together to affect positive changes and further consumer protection.”
“My life before politics involved a career in financial services, and I know how important these are to the way we live our lives. A jewel in the crown of UK business, our financial sector demonstrates very high standards in every respect, but needs effective regulation and support from legislators to continue its high performance. I am pleased to join the APPG to bring together work to celebrate and support our financial sector and to identify and address threats and risks to the sector and my constituents”
“Pensions scammers present an awful threat to people who have worked hard all their lives and the pensions that they have managed to put to one side. It is awful that these hard working people can be conned into parting with the pension pot that should provide them with a nice relaxing retirement.
I fully support this APPG and I hope as parliamentarians we can help put in place procedures that can put a stop to such vile scams.”
“Unfortunately, I have had several constituents who have been impacted by issues with personal banking and financial services. I am happy to support the APPG’s work in addressing issues and highlighting concerns within this sector, giving a voice to those who have lost significant sums of money.”
“In a previous career I was a financial adviser and one of the aspects I found most rewarding was sitting with a family in their home, often around the kitchen table, to help them plan a secure future in retirement; it is the most natural of ambitions that people want to provide as much certainty as possible for later life and work hard to make those contributions.
It is therefore a terrible crime for pension and other investment scammers to seek to rob trusting and hard-working people of their future security. In my job now as a Member of Parliament I feel it my responsibility to work together across the political divide to help ensure those I used to advise, and all other everyday investors, that their future wellbeing is safe and sufficient.”
“More than 25 years in Parliament has taught me that APPGs vary greatly. Relatively few of them have any positive impact on public policy. The APPG on Personal Banking and Fairer Financial Services is an exception. It has a clear purpose statement, aimed at improving policy where there is a clear failure to the detriment of the wellbeing and health of a great number of people. The Group’s laser like focus on the failings of banking and financial services providers and their regulators to protect the vulnerable and their practical proposals for improvement deserve support across both Houses of Parliament. Their work is particularly important at a time when geopolitics has focused the extent of our failings and the damaging effect that our culture of permissiveness of economic crime has had on our global reputation as a centre of excellence for financial services.”
“It is an unfortunate fact of life that evil and unscrupulous criminals and fraudsters will try to exploit people using any means possible. Pension scams in which people are conned into parting with their pension pots – money they have accumulated through their working lives to support them in their retirement – are particularly unpleasant. I am happy to support this APPG so that in Parliament we can provide a voice for those who have lost money in this way and work to develop policies to combat such frauds.”
“I’m a British lawyer and Parliamentarian . I am also a Pension Scheme Trustee protecting the rights of Beneficiaries under a sizeable scheme. I previously served as Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and for the Conservative Party. After serving for ten years as Member of Parliament for Leeds North East I was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999. I am acutely aware that the UK has a significant pension scams problem; and I am part of this APPG to do my bit to make a positive difference.”
“White-collar crime is a significant financial loss. However, looking at just the financial losses caused by scammers does not relay the material and psychological impact that scamming has on its victims. These people have been robbed of financial security, and sometimes this happens due to regulatory failure, as evidenced by the independent reports written by Dame Gloster and Raj Parker, about the LCF and Connaught respectively.
I have decided to take part in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Personal Banking and Fairer Financial Services because I support efforts to protect people, and the goods and services they use. This is particularly true during these uncertain and worrying times of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Organised crime does not respect borders and it is essential that we can access the information systems, support and technical expertise that is available through Europol. A joined-up approach across sectors and nations is key in increasing protection for all kinds of investors across the UK.
I hope the APPG can be a force in giving victims of scams confidence that they will receive the right support and advice through the criminal justice process; reimburse them if they fall victim; make potential victims less likely to fall for cunning approaches by fraudsters given the financial pressures Covid-19 has introduced; increase efforts to raise awareness to help prevent scamming in the first place; and ensure our financial system functions safely outside the EU, with a strong and effective financial regulatory framework that achieves its objective of providing appropriate consumer protection.”
“Thanks to the new freedoms granted five years ago, more money is being transferred out of pension schemes than ever before, but the market remains complex and open to abuse. With a lack of support and advice available, consumers are vulnerable to scams and bad advice.
Three years ago, we saw one of the most serious and widespread cases when members of the British Steel Pension Scheme were aggressively targeted by rogue advisers.
Many lost thousands of pounds; I am aware of one steelworker who lost close to £200,000. The scale of the issue is startling. I want to see a system in place which better protects consumers and punishes the unscrupulous rogues who prey on their life savings.
I am very pleased to be part of this APPG which will I hope will give a voice to victims and help tackle scams.”
“A number of my constituents in Darlington have raised concerns about their personal banking experiences throughout this challenging year. I hope that by forming this APPG myself and cross-party colleagues, in conjunction with Transparency Task Force and other key stakeholders from the sector, we will be able to address constituent concerns.
“We have established there is a lengthy list of key concerns we must look at addressing and we will continue to review this list to ensure that we stay up-to-date with current issues that can inform policy change.”
“As a deputy Treasury Spokesperson for the SNP I have a keen interest in ensuring that the financial services sector operates in an ethical way that protects the interests of customers and investors. During my time as an MP I have seen first-hand the impact that these services can have on people’s lives when things go wrong. Looking in detail at the circumstances that have led to some of my constituents losing their entire pensions or savings it is clear to me that the current regulatory system is failing to protect them”
“Having been a financial planner for many years I have seen first-hand how people’s lives are impacted by banking and financial services and that there is a real knowledge gap in society around the various ways that banking and financial services can help people in their daily lives. I’m keen to see what we can do as a Parliament to improve these sectors and increase understanding in the wider community so people can make better use of them to improve their lives and financial situation.”
“I am pleased to be part of this vital cross party APPG but very sorry that it is necessary due to the increasing number of pension scams in operation. I am appalled to see how hard working honest people across the UK are being targeted about the largest sum of money they have ever had to deal with. It is heart breaking to hear stories from local constituents about how they have been conned out of huge sums of money. Money which was carefully built up over many years to provide for a comfortable old age. This has been taken away at a stroke condemning ordinary people to a less comfortable lifestyle but also the guilt they feel at having been conned by some unscrupulous person.
This APPG has been set up to address this terrible situation and I am happy to work with others to achieve our goal.”
“As a member of the Treasury Select Committee, I have seen the disgraceful ways in which fraudsters and scammers continue to target honest individuals in our society – including the most vulnerable. I look forward to working with this cross party group to help put a stop to it once and for all!”
“I chair the Work and Pensions Select Committee. We are currently conducting an inquiry on the impact of the pension freedoms, introduced by George Osborne five years ago. The most worrying impact has been the new opportunities for criminals to defraud of their pension savings people who should be able to look forward to a comfortable retirement. We are therefore dedicating the first part of our inquiry specifically to the problem of scams, in the hope of being able to propose to the Government improved protections for savers. This gives me a particular current interest in the work of the APPG.”
“Pension scammers are particularly insidious because they fleece people while pretending to give impartial advice.
I have campaigned all my professional life for the public to have access to good quality, free to client, impartial financial guidance, pensions advice and debt advice.
So it is particularly unpleasant to witness so important a principle abused in this way, especially when it involves such large sums.
Pension scammers need to be stopped, and I hope that the new APPG can play an important part in achieving this”