CMC cold calling ban in Financial Guidance and Claims Bill passes another test

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Claims management companies (CMCs) are on course to be banned from cold calling after the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill passed its third reading with the amendment to this effect intact.

The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill and a series of amendments passed in the House of Commons on 24 April. The bill will now go back to the House of Lords for further consideration.

Clause 34 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill was introduced in the House of Lords to add CMCs to the cold calling ban, which initially targeted pensions.

Some 895 million nuisance calls were made last year that chased an injury claim for an accident that may or may not have occurred, according to Aviva.

Groups including the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the National Accident Helpline have petitioned loudly for CMCs to be included in the ban.

Simon Trott, managing director of National Accident Helpline, commented: “For many years cold calling has been a blight on the personal injury sector, causing stress and inconvenience to the public.”

“National Accident Helpline has been leading the charge on industry calls for a blanket ban on cold calling, and the government’s action to put an end to this unethical practice is long overdue.”

Clause 34 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill is not the full and blanket ban that its supporters have argued for, however. CMCs can engage in cold calling if the consumer has given their consent.

Trott said: “More needs to be done to close loopholes that allow cold calls to be made legally. That’s why we’re calling on the government to implement our action plan to stop nuisance calls by clamping down on ‘phoenixing’ where CMCs that have been forced to cease trading relaunch under a different name, and by putting the Information Commissioner’s Office’s direct marketing guidance on a statutory footing.”

“We look forward to continuing to work with the government and its agencies to ensure the effective implementation of the ban, with enforcement carefully considered and properly resourced.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk