Just 10 of FCA’s 3,700 staff work on pension scams team

Hannah Godfrey reports...

Just 10 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) staff out of a total workforce of some 3,700 are working on pension scams, the regulator has revealed.

At a Work and Pensions Select Committee meeting on pension costs and transparency, held this morning (6 February), executives at the regulator revealed just one in 370 FCA staff members are working on pension scams.

FCA director of life insurance and financial advice Deborah Jones said the team was approximately 10-strong, though she was unable to offer an exact figure because the number was flexible, depending on “what is coming through the door at any one moment”.

Committee chair Frank Field, who has been a fierce critic of the FCA and its handling of the British Steel Pension Scheme, questioned FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey on whether he felt the financial watchdog had enough people working to counter and deal with scammers.

Bailey replied that protecting consumers against scams in modern times was about more than just manpower, adding: “In one sense, we never have enough resource to do this kind of thing.” He also noted the 10-strong team was larger than it used to be, and was ready to be “responsive” to change if need be.

“We are making substantial investments in data capture and data analysis,” Bailey continued. “That is important in the scam world because, if we are able to scrape the internet more effectively, we will save a lot of human resources at that end. Where we will not save a lot of human resource is the world where we have to prosecute cases.”