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Regulation Hub Update - March 2020


This article is written by Rachel Goddard and Steve Sullivan who is the Deputy Chair of the Contact Centre Council.

Glasgow-based CRDNN (formerly known as Contact Reach) has been fined the maximum £500,000 for infringing the pre-GDPR old Data Protection Act.

CRDNN made over 193 million automated, unconsented marketing calls between June and October in 2018. The automated calls covered a variety of services and CRDNN hid behind scores of ‘spoofed’, false Caller Line Identification (CLI) numbers, so CRDNN could not be traced or identified.

The consultation period on the Draft Direct Marketing Code has now closed, so we will wait to see what emerges in the finalised version of the Code, later this year.

We aim to circulate a note on some of the contact centre-specific features of the draft Code soon.

FCA releases statement on data breach

On the 26th February, the Financial Conduct Authority stated that they had been made aware in response to a Freedom of Information Act request published on their website in November 2019, that certain underlying confidential information may have been accessible, specifically in relation to the number and nature of new complaints made against the FCA and complaints handled by their Complaints Team between January 2018 and July 2019.

The FCA have recognised this as a mistake and have contacted the ICO about the breach. They have stated that they have taken action to prevent such an incident occurring again.

FCA bans a number of online adverts issued by motor finance firm

Rix Motor Company Ltd’s adverts breached the FCA rules when posting on Instagram for one or more of the following reasons;

  • The representative examples of cost of the credit were missing from the advert or were unlikely to be seen
  • The advert was not clear whether consumers were dealing with a credit broker or lender
  • The advert didn’t specify the legal name of the firm as it appears on the Financial Services Register, preventing consumers from checking that Rix was authorised

The adverts have been withdrawn and the FCA have reminded Rix that all adverts must be clear, fair and not misleading, including those posted on social media.

The FCA fines Moneybarn £2.77m for unfair treatment of customers in arrears

Moneybarn were found to have not treated customers fairly when they fell behind on loan repayments whilst experiencing financial difficulties. The FCA stated that this breach occurred between April 2014 and October 2017. 1,400 customers, many of whom were vulnerable, subsequently defaulted after entering into unsustainable short-term repayment plans because Moneybarn was not providing customers the chance to clear their arrears over a realistic and sustainable period.

Moneybarn was also not communicating the likely consequence of failing to keep up with payments to customers in a way which was clear, fair and not misleading. As well as the fine, Moneybarn have voluntarily provided more than £30 million to all 5933 customers potentially affected by the failings and this was considered when the FCA assessed the size of the penalty to be imposed.

From May 1st, Ofgem will order that consumers receive an automatic £30 payment from suppliers if:

  • they are switched by mistake
  • their switch takes longer than 15 working days, or
  • their final bill doesn’t arrive within 6 weeks

Unicate Ltd – which was behind the Crowd Offers service - has been fined £170,000 and barred from offering phone-paid services. The scam service charged £3 per month for a weekly offers email, which was never sent.

The Fundraising Regulator is seeking charities’ views on the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) after starting a review of the little-used service.

The annual Complaints Report 2018/19 has also now been released.

And no contact centre news this month from the TPS, Ofcom or the payments world.

Content accurate as of 4thMarch 2020

Find the latest update here

Previous regulation update:

February 2020 update

More from the Contact Centre Council:

The Future of the Contact Centre
Outbound Telemarketing Campaigns Guide
Is your contact centre ready for changes to the European Payment Services Directive?

Hear more from the DMA

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