The Claims Management Regulator has issued its first fine against a claims management company using its new extended penal powers.
The Hearing Clinic has been fined £220,000 by the Regulator following hundreds of complaints from members of the public who have received speculative calls about claims for noise induced hearing loss from the claims management company.
Additional conditions have also been imposed on The Hearing Clinic, including restrictions around calling numbers registered on the TPS and using data from third-party companies. The Hearing Clinic could face further sanctions including suspension and even closure if it breaks the rules again.
The fine could also be the first of many in 2015. Further investigations by the Claims Management Regulator are ongoing into alleged rule breaches by other claims companies.
Kevin Rousell, head of claims management regulation at the Ministry of Justice, said: “The new fines mean we have greater powers to crack down on claims management companies that make nuisance calls.
“Companies should be in no doubt that if they break the rules then we won’t hesitate to fine them in addition to the tough action we already take.”
Welcoming the exercise of the regulator’s powers, National Accident Helpline’s CEO Russell Atkinson said that persistent nuisance marketing had to be tackled.
“Cold calls are at best annoying, and at worst damaging, often targeting the most vulnerable in society,” he said.
National Accident Helpline recently launched an ethical marketing charter designed to tackle questionable behaviour in the claims sector.