The Information Commissioner’s Office has successfully blocked the director of a rogue telemarketing company from winding up the business – in an effort to avoid a £350,000 fine – as the regulator seeks to recover the debt.
According to Companies House, Douglas Andrew Albury is listed as the sole director of Miss-sold Products UK, which has just been issued with the fine for making 75 million unlawful automated marketing calls between November 16 2015 and 7 March 7 2016.
A second director of the business, named as Richard Jones, resigned on March 1 2106.
However, both men were also directors of another company, Your Money Rights, which was fined £350,000 in September last year after being found to have made a record 146 million unlawful automated calls about PPI. On this occasion they successfully dissolved the firm before the ICO could act.
The move once again exposes the scale of the problem the ICO is facing in ridding the UK of the bosses of rogue telemarketing firms, who, in the continued absence of legislation, can simply shut up one business and start another with impunity.
The Government has yet to announce whether it will resurrect plans to make company directors personally liable for fines, which were dropped in the run up to June’s general election.
ICO enforcement group manager Andy Curry said: “[Miss-sold Products UK] ignored the laws on telephone marketing, making a huge volume of intrusive calls over a short period of time and without any apparent attempt to ensure they had the consent of the people they were harassing.
“The ICO will come down hard on rogue operators who want to treat the law and the UK public with contempt. We hope the Government will bring forward plans to introduce personal liability for directors as a matter of urgency, to stop them from escaping punishment after profiting from nuisance calls and texts.
“In the absence of a change in the law, the ICO will continue to face challenges in the recovery of penalties, and rogue directors will think they can get away with causing nuisance to members of the public.”
DMA director of external affairs Mike Lordan added: “We applaud the continued hard work of the ICO in prosecuting rogue businesses, particularly those guilty of nuisance calls, and this latest fine is another strong step in the right direction. The level of disregard Miss-sold Products has shown for the consent rules does make you wonder what the business was trying to achieve? Hopefully, this rogue business being held to account and prosecuted for its actions will act as a deterrent for those considering using tactics like this in the future.”
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