OFT didn't understand, says WiseCall MD, who vows to fight on

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has thrown out a probe into Highway's alleged unfair business practices.

An OFT spokesman said it had decided there were no grounds for investigation.

Wisecall Claims Assistance managing director Donald Rodger submitted a complaint to the OFT in December last year. He alleged Ockham-owned Highway was pressuring brokers to use Crusader Uninsured Loss Recovery services. Highway passes non-fault claims on to Crusader, which then appoints a legal firm to organise a conditional fee agreement (CFA) policy if an injury is involved. Crusader is controlled by Ockham Holdings.

Rodger said despite the OFT's decision, he felt his complaint was still valid. "We will be responding to the OFT as we do not think they understood the situation at all," he said. "The product is quite complicated and there are more problems arising now with other brokers having their arms twisted."

Highway chief executive Andrew Gibson said he was "not surprised" the OFT decided not to investigate the allegations. "The OFT never contacted us at all," he said. " We categorically deny we have done anything wrong."

In his letter to the OFT, Rodger said: "Highway's influence on brokers is restricting the choice of legal expenses insurer available to the consumer and undermining the brokers' ability to provide independent advice on the products they sell."