The Claims Management Regulator at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has given notice of its intention to cancel the authorisation of Harringtons Advisory Limited, a Bury-based payment protection insurance claims company that is alleged to have breached as many as 13 separate regulatory requirements. The company has announced its intention to appeal the ruling, and so the cancellation is not yet in force.

The MoJ says that Harringtons failed to comply with nine different sections of the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2014:

• General Rule 1 – the requirement for claims companies to display honesty and integrity
• General Rule 2b – an obligation to substantiate each claim being made, providing details that are specific to the claim and are not fraudulent, false or misleading
• General Rule 2d – the need to maintain appropriate records and audit trails
• General Rule 2e – the requirement to take reasonable steps to verify that referrals, leads or data have been obtained in accordance with relevant legislation and the MoJ’s rules
• General Rule 3 – the need for a company’s senior management to be competent and to understand rules and legislation relating to claims management
• General Rule 5 – the general requirement to abide by all relevant laws and regulations
• General Rule 8 – the need to have a complaints scheme that meets MoJ rules in this area
• General Rule 16b – the obligation to provide to the MoJ any information it requires within a specified timescale, and for this information not to be false or misleading
• Client Specific Rule 4 – the prohibition on cold calling in person, and the need for all other marketing activity to comply with the Direct Marketing Association’s Code and any related guidance issued by the Direct Marketing Association

The company is also said to have failed to meet two requirements of the MoJ’s Complaint Handling Rules 2015:

• Rule 11 –the need to acknowledge a complaint within five business days of receipt, explaining in the acknowledgement letter who is handling the complaint and providing details of the company’s complaints handling procedures
• Rule 12 – the obligation to either send a final response letter within eight weeks, or to inform the complainant of their right to refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman if it is not possible to issue the final response within eight weeks of receipt of the complaint

The other two regulatory breaches alleged by the MoJ in relation to Harringtons concern requirements under the Compensation (Claims Management Services) Regulations 2006:

• Regulation 12 (5) (e) – a claims company must allow the MoJ to conduct an audit of its business
• Regulation 30 (1) – the rule allowing the MoJ to inspect a company’s business records, having first given reasonable notice

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.