Fees for claims management companies (CMCs) will remain unchanged in 2018/19, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed.
The results of a consultation on proposed fee levels for 2018/19 were published on 7 February. The MoJ’s Claims Management Regulator (CMR) proposed no changes in its initial document.
In 2018/19, the CMR’s gross regulation costs are expected to be at least £6 million. New CMCs will need to pay an application fee of £2,000, while annual regulation fee scales will continue to apply at the current levels.
CMCs that responded to the consultation were worried that a fee rise might compromise already narrow margins, which are expected to take a further hit when various reforms are introduced in the near future.
Reforms include raising the small claims limit to £5,000 for road accident injuries and £2,000 for other personal injuries, as well as transferring the regulation of CMCs to the Financial Conduct Authority.
IRN Research reported in September 2017 that the personal injury market—worth £4bn annually—is declining in volume terms.
Between 2017 and 2021, the market is expected to grow by just 1.6% in value terms, reflecting a decline in the market from 2017 to 2019 as the new reforms take effect, according to IRN Research.
According to the MoJ’s consultation response: “The regulator is aware of the potential impact of current and proposed reforms on both the financial and personal injury claims sectors and notes this could contribute to a future contraction in the claims market. However, we believe the concerns raised around a declining market are unlikely to have significant relevance to the year to which these fee proposals are applicable.”