FSA hands out £21,000 punishment

A claims management company has been fined £21,000 for misleading its customers and the FSA.

Blackburn-based Aspray, a specialist in property repairs, told its customers all of its contractors were screened. However, it used sources such as Yell.com and tradespeople were not properly vetted.

Aspray also said its services were free when it made money from insurance excess and cancellation charges.

The FSA reserved its biggest criticism for Aspray’s failure to maintain proper control systems in the recruitment, training and monitoring of appointed representatives – small firms or sole traders, who do administrative work on behalf of a larger company.

The FSA could have fined Aspray up to £30,000, but settled for a lower amount because the company co-operated with the investigation.

Aspray has since changed its procedures. The FSA said there was no evidence that it sought to profit or avoid loss as a result of the identified failings.