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Swansea claims management bosses hit with 17-year ban

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  • 11/04/2018
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Swansea claims management bosses hit with 17-year ban
A pair of Swansea claims management company (CMC) bosses have been banned for a total of 17 years for breaching government regulations, after an investigation.

 

 

Clifford Stanford has been disqualified from acting as a director for 11 years for his conduct as director of Cerys-Angharad and Ifonic.

The other, Timothy Mark Schubert has also been disqualified from acting as a director, this time for six years for his conduct as a director of Ifonic.

The directors were disqualified in the High Court in November after a flood of consumer complaints to Trading Standards and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) about both companies’ claims management procedures.

Cerys was found to have engaged in unfair trading practices in breach of the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2006 and 2013 and had failed to comply with the compensation regulations 2006.

 

Shoddy customer service

Cerys misled the public in sales calls regarding claims services offered, fees charged and cancellations. Customers paid for services they never received, fees were deducted from customers without their authorisation and refunds of upfront fees were never issued.

Despite the MoJ issuing warnings, the company failed to rectify the breaches, resulting in Cerys voluntarily surrendering its authorisation to provide claims management services.

The Insolvency Service then looked into the activities of Ifonic and found that following the closure of Cerys in March 2014, Ifonic acquired over 4,000 of Cerys’ existing clients and proceeded to create similar problems to those at Cerys.

Customers complained to the Legal Ombudsman and the MoJ on the fact Ifonic provided misleading information in sales calls, had failed to address complaints and provide the service customers had paid for, taken unauthorised payments from customers and failed to issue refunds of upfront fees to customers who had cancelled their contracts within the cooling-off period.

Despite the MoJ issuing warnings, Ifonic failed to rectify the breaches, resulting in Ifonic voluntarily surrendering its authorisation to provide claims management services.

Robert Clarke, investigations group leader at the Insolvency Service said: “When company directors do not comply with legislation that is designed to protect customers and avoidable losses result, the Insolvency Service will seek lengthy periods of disqualification.

“This should serve as a warning to other directors who may feel tempted to breach customer protection legislation. The Insolvency Service will rigorously pursue directors who deliberately mislead and breach the trust of customers.”

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