Last week, I received a phone call at work.
“One of your friends gave me your name and number,” the caller said. “I can help you save money on taxes. When would you like to meet?”
Truth was, he was lying.
None of my friends gave him my name or contact information. Instead, he was trolling hundreds of telephone numbers, hoping to hawk a Friends Provident offshore pension.
“You’re making this up,” I laughed. “None of my friends gave you my number.”
“Why would I make that up?” he replied, sounding a bit hurt.
For expatriates, sadly, the financial service industry is largely a business of incomplete disclosure.
And the cold-call is a strategy netting thousands of clients into offshore pension products, such as those provided by Friends Provident.
But the cold call’s days are numbered, at least in Singapore. A Do Not Call Registry has been established. If you don’t want pesky marketers to call or text you, register here.
This, on the heels of a decision by the United Arab Emirates in 2011 to ban cold calling completely.
Yes, offshore pension sales will suffer. And that’s a good thing.
But education will work more effectively.