A claims management company (CMC) which made 40m nuisance calls in only three months has had its license revoked by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR).
Kevin Rousell, head of the CMR, said Falcon & Pointer, based in Swansea and specialising in PPI claims, had “demonstrated the worst excesses of the industry”.
He went on: “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.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, where the CMR is based, said Falcon & Pointer used automatic-dialling technology to make millions of calls about missold PPI, leading to hundreds of complaints by the public.
“An investigation by the CMR also found that the South Wales firm had coerced people into signing contracts without giving them enough time to understand the terms and conditions before taking payment, which is a serious breach of the regulator’s rules on conduct.”
He said loss of the licence meant that Falcon & Pointer could no longer offer regulated claims management services to new or existing clients and the CMR would be advising customers that if their claim had not been completed they could be entitled to repayment of the fee.
The spokesman added that the CMR had removed over 1,000 licences since 2010 and issued fines of over £1.7 million.
The CMR handed out a record fine of £567,423 to Rock Law, also based in Swansea, in October, and raided the offices of three other CMCs.
Rock Law was accused of coercing clients into signing contracts to make PPI claims, without giving them enough time to understand the terms and conditions before taking unauthorised payments.
Justice Minister Lord Faulks commented on the removal of Falcon & Pointer’s license: “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.”
It emerged last month that the number of complaints to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) about CMCs passed 15,000 in the first nine months of last year – a much higher amount than expected.