Citizens Advice is piling on the pressure for finance firms to be banned from making cold calls after revealing claims management companies alone have trousered up to £5bn of consumers’ compensation for mis-sold PPIs.
The Government is already planning a crackdown on nuisance calls by lowering the threshold of complaints yet has no plans to ban cold calling outright for specific business sectors.
But in a new report, “The cost of redress”, Citizens Advice is demanding action to halt what it brands “the tide of nuisance calls” and to protect people from dodgy businesses.
Citizens Advice figures reveal that nearly 1 in 3 (28%) of British adults aged 18+ who have used a claims management company said that the firm put a lot of pressure on them to pursue the claim and 27% said the fee structure was not clearly explained.
The study reveals the prolific use of cold calling by claims management companies. Some 63% of British adults have been contacted out of the blue by a firm offering to help make a claim for mis-sold PPI with more than half contacted 10 times in the last 12 months.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “Consumers have lost out on billions of pounds worth of compensation because banks were too slow to get a grip on the PPI scandal. We’d like to see a ban on cold calling by claims companies which would spare people from nuisance calls and protect consumers from predatory firms.
“Some claims management companies operate well below the standards that are expected and sometimes outside of the rules. The regulator needs to quickly revoke the licences of firms that are not up to scratch.”
Citizens Advice first called for a ban on cold calling for finance firms last summer after publishing the results of a survey which showed two-thirds of adults – equivalent to 30 million people – had received unwanted calls about mis-sold PPI policies.
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