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Claim council hit by threats and break-in

The watchdog policing claim- chasers has come under siege with a string of reprisal attacks and death threats.

The Claims Standards Council, which has vowed to rid the scandal-hit sector of abuses ahead of regulation this year, says its staff have suffered physical and verbal abuse, including death threats, and its headquarters have been burgled.

Policy director Andy Wigmore, who will resign from his post at the AGM this week, was punched in the face after a conference last year, where claim-chasers’ sales tactics were slammed. Police say they were called after a break-in at the organisation’s London headquarters which saw computers and valuables left untouched but important files stolen.

The level of verbal abuse has risen markedly since the CSC threatened endowment claims companies with a “nuclear” response in Money Marketing this month, after revealing it has uncovered 10 rogue firms operating in the sector.

Wigmore will take a non-executive role after the AGM, where the Claims Standards Institute will be launched. CSC members will join the CSI to ensure it is independent if chosen as the front-line regu- lator. A decision is expected from the Department for Constitutional Affairs next month.

Wigmore says: “We regu- larly get calls from claim firms who say ‘you are ruining my business’. They also say things like ‘I know who you are, you are going to get bumped off’.”

Aifa director general Chris Cummings says: “It is the lead-generation people that bring the sector into disrepute.”

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