Clampdown on rip-off claims firms starts to bite
Rogue claims management companies are running scared after more than 350 of them were shut down, suspended or warned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in six months, it is revealed today.
The rip-off firms tempt unsuspecting consumers with the promise of payouts for personal injury, mis-sold payment protection insurance or unfair bank charges. But many targeted by the firms have no chance of a payout.
Instead, people become victims as the rogue companies sting them for upfront fees. The MoJ's Claims Management Regulation Unit closed 209 firms between April and November this year. Meanwhile, three were suspended and 140 more were warned.
Companies shut down included personal injury firms such as Accident First Xchange in Greater Manchester, financial services businesses such as First Refunds in West Sussex, and housing repair organisations such as People's Legal Bureau in Hampshire.
Next year, rogue firms will face an even tougher environment as consumers will be given greater protection against them. Businesses will be forced to agree written contracts with customers before taking fees and while a new independent consumer complaints service is being set up to compensate those who have got a raw deal.
The unit is also working with data watchdog the Information Commissioner to tackle firms who break the law with unsolicited calls and texts.
Justice minister Helen Grant said: "We will not tolerate claims management companies that rip off consumers and flout the rules." More than 900 claims management companies have been shut down in the past five years, the MoJ said.
From 2013, the Legal Ombudsman will provide an independent complaints scheme for dissatisfied claims management customers.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Isis 'did not shoot down Jordan war plane' before capturing pilot, says US
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...