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Loans & Credit

Cold calls cost CPN its consumer credit licence

A debt-management company, Compensation Professionals Network, has been stripped of its consumer credit licence for making illegal cold calls.

The Office of Fair Trading took action against CPN to prevent unfair and improper business practices, including sending automated messages without consent, implying calls were on behalf of the Government, misleading consumers by claiming to be able to write-off consumer debts, and claiming the services were free.

The action against CPN follows an OFT warning to the industry to stop using unsolicited, misleading cold-calling practices to generate client leads. Ray Watson, of the OFT's Consumer Credit Group, said: "The OFT has taken action against CPN to safeguard the interests of consumers. Debt-management companies should only deal with reputable lead generators, licensed by the OFT. Failure to do so will put companies at risk of enforcement action."

Recently, the OFT warned a host of debt-management firms that they could face being put out of business unless they improved the way they treated consumers. It added that consumers wishing to avoid receiving unsolicited and unwanted cold calls should contact the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) at tpsonline.org.uk.