On 2 August 2023, HM Treasury published a consultation paper and call for evidence on banning cold calling for consumer financial services and products.


The government notes that criminals often use telecommunication networks and services to commit fraud, including through cold calling the public.  

While it is not known how much fraud is attributable to cold calls, according to the FCA, unsolicited investment calls are one of the most common tactics used by investment fraudsters. In the first five months of 2023, around 1,200 cases of nuisance calls and messages relating to investments were reported to the Information Commissioner.

The government has already implemented various prohibitions and restrictions on cold calling for financial services and products. However, the consultation paper warns that “without a broad ban on cold calling, scammers can simply move from one financial product to another in [an] attempt to bypass the law or exploit loopholes.”

To address this, the government announced as part of its Fraud Strategy on 3 May 2023 its intention to ban cold calling for all financial products, so that anyone who subsequently receives unsolicited calls trying to sell them financial products will treat it as a scam.


In the consultation, the government invites responses on the scope of the activities, persons and products that should be captured in a ban on cold calling for financial services and products, as well as a proposed method for how the government will enact this ban. The consultation covers:

  • The current restrictions in place on cold calling for different financial services and products.
  • What the proposed overall ban on financial services cold calling could look like, including the scope of the ban and how it could be enforced.
  • How the government can publicise this ban.
  • Potential impacts of the ban, particularly noting impacts to businesses and to persons with protected characteristics.

Next steps

The deadline for feedback to the consultation is 27 September 2023.

Alongside this, HM Treasury has launched a call for evidence to collect information and data that will allow more accurate estimates of the impacts to be made.