by Sam Kelly DipPFS, EFA, BA (Hons),
Within the last 24 hours both myself and my colleague working from our Costa Blanca office received a call telling us we had been ‘mis-sold a pension or investment in Spain’! I’m sure you can appreciate the irony of a two high profile financial advisers receiving such calls, but it does bring up more serious questions.
First and foremost, Chorus have battled as hard as any organisation in Europe to protect investors from low quality pensions and investment advice. We received two major industry awards for campaigns designed to educate Brits living in Spain on such matters. Clearly we support legitimate actions to protect investors.
Sadly, I do not feel these cold-callers are conducting themselves with your best interests in mind and there are also strong concerns with regards the legitimacy and legality of these ‘organisations’.
The first point to make is in the case of my colleague and I, these calls were illegal. We had not consented to any third-party processing or using our data, and when we questioned where our data had come from, a clear answer was not provided. This means our data was being used illegally. Beyond that, the approach itself was not legitimate. This blanket approach of calling thousands of Brits living in Spain and telling them they were mis-sold an investment or pension transfer is illegal.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) explicitly states that marketing calls should be for specific needs and not cause undue stress or concern. Now if you had happened to have transferred a pension without any issues or concerns, but someone on the end of the phone called you randomly to tell you you were mis-sold a pension, this would clearly cause some concerns and stress.
So why do these companies do this? Well firstly, these are not necessarily official organisations or regulated companies, they are often some guy or gal calling from their living room going through online phone directories, LinkedIn etc, hoping to ‘strike gold’! All they want is your data, and they will pass it on for a commission or fee to another third party.
If you have genuine concerns about an investment or pension transfer carried out in Spain then there are official channels you can follow. Chorus have helped hundreds of Brits living in Spain identify potential problems with plans recommended by other financial advice firms here in Spain and will always provide guidance on such matters. Beyond that you can make formal complaints, go via arbiters and ombudsmen, but what you certainly should be doing is giving your personal data to cold callers.
For transparent, qualified and regulated advice on pensions, investments and tax planning matters in Spain contact me today on +34 664 398 702, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.chorusfinancial.es for more information.