The First-tier Tribunal has upheld a fine of £91,000 imposed on Hall and Hanley Limited (H&H) by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR), the previous regulator for claims management companies (CMCs) before the FCA took over the role of regulating CMCs.
The hearing for the Tribunal was conducted by the FCA.
The FCA announced its first fine on a CMC earlier this week when it fined Professional Personal Claims Limited (PPC) Ј70,000 for “misleading consumers” through its websites and printed materials.
H&H is a CMC focused on claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).
The FCA says the £91,000 fine was initially imposed by the CMR under the previous regulatory regime due to data breaches and unauthorised copying of client signatures. H&H appealed to the Tribunal against the fine.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market Oversight at the FCA said: “The failure by Hall and Hanley to take previous advice and warnings from the former claims management regulator and the firm’s repeated use of consumer data and customer signatures without their consent are clear examples of a firm falling short of the standards we expect.”
Marketing text messages about PPI claims were sent to consumers’ mobile telephone numbers, without H&H having taken sufficient steps to check that affected consumers had consented to receiving such messages.
In addition, when reviewing a sample of 16 of H&H’s client files, the CMR found that in 8 of the files clients’ signatures on claim documentation (including letters of authority) had been copied without authorisation.