FOS chief calls for tougher rules for CMCs

Natalie Ceeney, chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service declares that CMCs should be subject to more rigorous regulation.

Financial Ombudsman Service chief executive Natalie Ceeney says claims management companies (CMCs) should be subject to tougher regulation.

Speaking at the British Bankers’ Association international banking conference in London today, Ceeney said: “There are very variable practices among these companies – including some sharp practice from those who ‘cold call’, promising ‘no win, no fee’ inducements to potential customers, some of whom may have no reason to complain.

“And we know that some CMCs fail to check even the most basic of facts, such as whether the product complained about was bought.

“I hear widespread agreement – from industry and consumer groups alike – on the need for stronger regulation of the claims management sector. We share this view.”

But she acknowledged that many consumers feel they do not have the time or ability to bring a complaint themselves, which is why they turn to claims management firms.

And she suggested that if banks were to improve their own complaints handling process this would mean there would be less demand for claims management.

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