Marks & Spencer and Virgin Direct may be prevented from selling execution-only pensions over the phone, if investigations by the pensions regulator find against them.
The Personal Investment Authority says it is investigating the viability of selling pensions over the phone without giving advice. M&S offers this service and Virgin Direct says it plans to do so in the next six months.
“The PIA authorised M&S to sell personal pensions over the phone on an execution-only basis. We are constantly monitoring how it is working,” says a PIA spokesman. A consultation paper will be issued within 12 months.
It is understood that the PIA is responding to criticisms made by life insurance and pensions companies that products are too complex to be sold over the phone on an execution-only basis.