All claims management companies (CMCs) would do well to read the March 2017 regulatory bulletin from the Claims Management Regulator at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Not only are as many as ten issues raised in this bulletin, but many of these are mentioned by the regulator for the first time. The issues addressed by the MoJ in the bulletin are:
1. The bulletin contains a link to Advertising Standards Authority guidance on how CMC fees should be communicated to customers. Companies are also asked to ensure that when they include figures for amounts claimed back in their advertising that they clearly state what the figure represents, for example companies cannot cite a customer as having received £4,000 in compensation if they actually only received £3,000 once their CMC had taken their fee and VAT had been deducted
2. The MoJ highlighted its concerns over misleading pay per click advertising campaigns on social media and search engines, and reminded CMCs that they are responsible for ensuring their marketing material complies with applicable rules and legislation, even if the marketing activity is conducted on their behalf by a third party
3. CMCs operating ‘refer a friend’ incentives to their customers must ensure that any such scheme does not encourage the customer to behave like a business in seeking out potential claimants. If this occurs, the customer will be considered to have conducted claims activity without authorisation, and the CMC will be considered to have abetted this unauthorised activity
4. CMCs must never copy and paste client signatures, request clients sign blank documents, forge signatures or change dates on letters of authority
5. If pursuing a claim for a deceased client, the CMC must deal with someone with the legal entitlement to complain, which is likely to be the executor of the will, or the administrator of the estate if there is no will. The firm to whom the complaint is made will need to see paperwork such as the death certificate and a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
6. CMCs are urged to read once again the special MoJ bulletin on transferring client relationships, and a link to this is provided in the March 2017 regulatory bulletin
7. Companies are reminded that they should already have submitted information to the MoJ regarding their annual authorisation fee
8. Companies are asked to read the MoJ’s fourth quarter enforcement bulletin, and to take note of the reasons why companies have been subject to enforcement action.
9. Companies are reminded of the Government’s plans to introduce new legislation regarding whiplash compensation
10. A payment protection insurance claims deadline will come into force on August 29 2019
The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.