A leading claims management company fined £533,000 for multiple rule breaches – including its sales agents calling banks pretending to be customers – has lost an appeal against the sanction. The tribunal heard the call of an employee telling his grandmother that the CMC had changed its working practices for a regulatory audit.
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has become the first regulator to announce what service standards and prices it will mandate the firms it regulates to publish online. It is also encouraging its firms to go beyond the minimum regulatory requirements and use the transparency drive to differentiate themselves better and attract clients.
A payment processor has taken the place of conveyancers in handling the finances on completion day in what has been claimed to be the UK’s first fully digital mortgage settlement. It could spell the end to clients waiting with the removal van in the afternoon for money to be transferred between lawyers.
The Notaries Society is calling on the profession’s regulator, the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to abandon its oversight of the “extremely high risk” activities of probate and conveyancing given the cost needed to do it properly. The society said its ruling council decided last month with “a degree of reluctance” to call for the pull-out.
The government yesterday got its way with the form of the cold-calling ban that will be imposed on claims management companies and said it would be backed up by hefty fines on anyone who uses illegally obtained data.
Activity by claims management companies in the area of holiday sickness is “much reduced”, the regulator has claimed. The Claims Management Regulator said it made the finding after completing an “intensive audit” and investigation.
Claims management companies that want to advise clients, rather than just find and refer claims to others, will have to show that they are competent to do so when regulation is transferred to the Financial Conduct Authority, it has emerged. It could have significant implications for CMCs eyeing up the chance to run personal injury small claims.
The government has agreed to further talks with the Labour opposition about the nature of the proposed ban on cold-calling by claims management companies. The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill had its report and third reading earlier this week with the two sides yet to agree on whether the government’s proposed ban goes far enough.
A claims management company has failed to overturn the cancellation of its authorisation, which was found to have been “rented” to a marketing company which operated a call centre to generate personal injury leads. A judge said it was conducting “no business of its own” when the Claims Management Regulator intervened.
A business specialising in trade mark advice and registration must stop claiming to be the “UK’s no.1 trade mark service”, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled. It said Trade Mark Direct made the claim on the basis that it believed it had registered more applications than any other firm in the last three years.
It’s slightly tongue-in-cheek, but let’s see if we can design a business model that is doomed to struggle and which will ensure that we miss out on the profit and cash opportunities that come with providing high-value services at high prices in a near-monopoly situation.
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