19th November 2015
Responding to the Review of Claims Management Regulation, which closed on 13 November 2015, the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) has called for an extension of the ban on unsolicited texts and cold calls to everyone in the industry, both on the claimant and defendant side. Solicitors have long been banned from making unsolicited texts and calls, but there is strong anecdotal evidence that data is mined and sold by a variety of organisations across the PI sector, including insurers, price comparison websites, garages, car hire companies, towing companies and marketing/survey companies.
On the future regulatory structure, MASS believes that the CMRU has undertaken its role effectively within the limits of its powers and capabilities, but has been under-resourced. The CMC regulator should be independent of a Government department and self-financing from the sector itself. Similarly the powers of the ICO should be enhanced to improve data protection. Whatever the outcome of the Review, the Government needs to ensure that the CMC regulator has the tools it needs to police the industry properly, both in terms of the powers it is granted in legislation and the financial resources to police the sector.
The call for a blanket ban on unsolicited communications was just one of a number of actions suggested by MASS in its submission to the Claims Management Review, including making it tougher to set up a CMC, a stronger regulatory regime and better enforcement of existing data protection and privacy legislation.
Sue Brown, Chair of MASS, said:
“Clearly the time has come for a blanket ban across the claims industry. The piecemeal selection of individual sectors is simply not preventing the kind of nuisance calls and texts that so irritates the public – and the legal sector itself.
Overall, the Claims Management Regulator has done a decent job given its powers and budget. We would like it to operate independently going forward, but whatever the outcome of the review, it must have the tools and budget to combat the unwelcome scourge of nuisance calls and texts that is undoubtedly directly encouraging some fraudulent activity”.