The director of the claims management company (CMC) that was the subject of the largest-ever fine handed out by the Claims Management Regulator has accepted a ban from being a director for the next nine years.
Meanwhile, a property in London has been searched by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after it secured a warrant as part of an investigation into the illegal access of customer details from a nationwide car repair company.
Christopher Ross White was the director of Rock Law Limited in Swansea, which was fined nearly £570,000 in October 2015 for coercing clients into signing contracts to make PPI claims, without giving them enough time to understand the terms and conditions before taking unauthorised payments.
The company also failed to exercise sufficient control over sales agents, resulting in staff giving misleading content during sales calls, and did not maintain proper records and audit trails.
The following month, Rock Law went into liquidation owing £1.2m, including the fine. Mr White admitted that he breached his fiduciary duties.
Rock Law was the most-complained about CMC during the Legal Ombudsman’s first year of dealing with the sector.
Sue Macleod, an Insolvency Service chief investigator, said: “Directors have a duty to ensure they exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence over company operations and that they do not allow the company to breach legislation resulting in financial penalties which impact upon the company continued success.
“This should serve as a warning to other directors who may feel tempted to breach legislation intended to serve as protection for the public.”
Explaining its search of the property in London, the ICO said it believed that people’s information was unlawfully traded and could be linked to some of them receiving nuisance calls.
Mike Shaw, ICO enforcement manager, said: “Our experience shows that unscrupulous people access personal data about car accidents to sell it on to marketing firms, who use the details to make nuisance calls.”
The search was part of an investigation by the ICO prompted by concerns raised by Nationwide Accident Repairs Services (NARS).
NARS told ICO investigators that a computer system it used had been unlawfully accessed to view car repair estimates which contained personal data. The person of interest to the search warrant was not a current employee of NARS.