Customers were flooded with sales calls, despite opting out of being contacted 

An insurance broker was fined £70,000 for pestering people with 55,534 calls.

Lancashire-based Our Vault Ltd was fined for making nuisance calls to sell financial products for sister company insurance broker ST&R Limited.

The Information Commissioner’s Office found one badgered customer - who wasn’t interested in the products - was still phoned nineteen times.

STAR sells general insurance products such as car, travel and pet, as well as protection products. Our Vault describes itself as an insurance agent and broker. 

The fine is likely to be seen as the latest in a warning shot from an increasingly active data watchdog.

The ICO will watch brokers even more closely following the GDPR passing into law - something brokers are totally unprepared for, according to experts.

The ICO’s largest broking fine to date was a £175,000 charge on Staysure in February 2015 for data blunders. 

ICO Head of Enforcement, Steve Eckersley, said: “Our Vault Ltd made more than 55,500 direct marketing calls to people who had made clear that they did not want to receive them.

”This is unacceptable and it is against the law.

”In one instance, a gentleman was contacted 19 times, despite letting them know he wasn’t interested.

“We continue to target the companies and individuals responsible and hold them to account, but we can’t crack down on these organisations without the public’s help. I’d urge anyone who has been targeted by nuisance calls, emails or texts, to report them to the ICO.”

The 55,534 people had registered with the Telephone Preference Service – a register which opts them out of receiving unsolicited calls.

Our Vault claimed their personal data was checked against the register, but the ICO found they have never held or requested a TPS licence