A claims management company that unleashed a barrage of 40 million calls about PPI in just three months has had its licence torn up by the sector’s regulator which ruled it had “clearly set out to plague the public and rip off consumers”.
The move follows an investigation by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) into Falcon & Pointer, based in Swansea which used automatic dialling technology to make the calls.
The CMR said that the firm had coerced people into signing contracts without giving them enough time to understand the terms and conditions, and following what it called a “serious breach” of the rules, it has stripped the company of its operating licence.
It had previously been warned about its practices by both the CMR and the Information Commissioner’s Office.
“Falcon & Pointer has demonstrated the worst excesses of the industry,” said Kevin Rousell, head of the CMR. “This firm clearly set out to plague the public and rip off consumers.”
“They ignored warnings by us and the Information Commissioner’s Office, and today have had their licence revoked as a result of that wilful ignorance,” he said.
The removal of Falcon & Pointer’s licence is the latest move in a concerted crackdown on rogue behaviour in the industry, which has included removing over a thousand licences since 2010 and issuing fines of over £1.7m.
Justice Minister Lord Faulks said: “Protecting the public and consumers is our utmost priority and the disgraceful actions of this company would have caused real distress to many people, particularly the vulnerable and elderly.
“The Government will continue to take action against rogue firms that put their own profits before the rights of consumers.”
Ofcom plan to fine firms for just 3 silent calls a day
Your number’s up, ICO warns rogue marketing firms
Reckless call centre fined £200,000
2015 Review of the Year: a wake-up call for security
Firms must wake up to EU data breach rules – or else
Data security spend never high enough, MPs told
Claims firm battered by £850,000 cold call fine
Watchdog takes chunk £170,000 out of TPS fakers
PPI firm is first scalp in major ICO data assault