A company that used high-pressure tactics to get hundreds of customers to make PPI claims has been fined more than half a million pounds by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR).
Rock Law Ltd, based in Swansea, has been fined almost £570,000 for coercing clients into signing contracts – not giving them enough time to understand the terms and conditions before taking unauthorised payments.
Claims management companies (CMCs), such as Rock Law Ltd, sprung up fast in the wake of the PPI mis-selling scandal.
Putting in a complaint about mis-sold PPI is straightforward, and our free PPI tool will draft the letter for you, so there’s usually no need to pay a company to do the work for you.
Start your own PPI claim and keep 100% of your compensation – use the free Which? PPI claim tool.
Rule-breakers will have to pay
The record fine is the second to be issued in as many months by the regulator. It follows a change in the law which introduced financial penalties for firms found breaching the regulator’s rules of conduct.
The investigation by the regulator found that Rock Law Ltd had consistently infringed rules. Under those rules, companies are not allowed to take any payments from customers unless they have a written contract that has been signed without coercion – people can’t be pressured into making agreements.
Firms can now expect fines of up to 20% of their annual turnover, as well as having their trading licence suspended or removed.
Head of claims management regulation Kevin Rousell said: ‘Our investigation showed that Rock Law Ltd were taking unauthorised payments which meant vulnerable people were at risk of being exploited.
‘The size of this record fine demonstrates how seriously we take protecting the public from this exploitation.
He added ‘I hope firms that persist with poor practice take notice – If you break the rules you will have to pay.’
PPI claims deadline
Earlier this month the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it’s considering a deadline of spring 2018 for people to issue their PPI claim.
The imposition of this deadline may prompt many more bank customers to check whether they’re entitled to claim PPI compensation, and may even lead to more aggressive sales techniques from CMC’s desperate to cash in before the deadline.
Which? has helped more than 60,000 people issue a PPI compensation claim with our free PPI claim tool and template letters.