Last week, Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, met Brian Searle, chief operating officer at Pell & Bales, to discuss allegations made in the News of the World newspaper that fundraisers at the agency were encouraged to use "shameless tactics" to "generate money from the jobless, frail and even sick".
At the meeting, Searle agreed that Pell & Bales would become a member of the FRSB. Members undertake to deal with complaints according to FRSB guidelines and adhere to the FRSB's fundraising promise, a statement of commitments including not putting "undue pressure" on supporters to make a gift and answering "all reasonable questions" about fundraising activities and costs.
McLean said: "We have been reassured that Pell & Bales maintains high standards of telephone fundraising and has good quality control measures in place."
The fundraising agency provoked controversy last year when Karl Holweger, its chief executive, said that it made "administrative" calls to people who had asked not to be contacted to check whether that was still their wish. It subsequently ended the practice.