Lancashire-based National Advice Clinic receives regulator’s biggest fine so far
The Ministry of Justice’s Claims Management Regulator has fined Lancashire-based firm The National Advice Clinic £850,000 for nuisance calls about noise-induced hearing loss claims.
This is the biggest fine the regulator has issued so far since it was given its fining powers in December 2014, bringing the total collected to £1.6m.
The regulator said that the claims management firm, which also trades as the Industrial Hearing Clinic or the Central Compensation Office, made nearly 6 million calls between October 2014 and April 2015 about noise induced hearing loss claims.
Many of those called were registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which tells companies that they did not want to receive such calls.
This resulted in almost 2,000 complaints being received by Ofcom which is responsible for the TPS.
Claims Management Regulator head Kevin Rousell said: “This company’s cold-calling campaign was deliberate and sustained, and a flagrant breach of our marketing requirements.
“They showed an alarming disregard for the misery their tactics can cause, particularly to elderly and vulnerable people.
“The size of this penalty demonstrates how seriously we take this issue - nuisance calls will not be tolerated.”
Justice Minister Lord Faulks added: “I am pleased the regulator has imposed such a substantial fine for such blatant and shocking behaviour.
“This follows other large fines and the removal of over a thousand licenses from claims management companies since 2010.”
Chief executive of claims management company National Accident Helpline Russell Atkinson welcomed the fine and said it “demonstrates that this harmful practice remains widespread throughout the personal injury sector”.
He added: “Tackling these high-pressure marketing tactics will require decisive action from not only government and regulators, but individual businesses themselves; taking responsibility for improving standards and holding themselves to account.”