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Claims firm trade bodies clash over standards

A war of words has broken out within the claims management sector as the Claims Standards Council suggests that claims firms are leaving the trade body to avoid stricter codes of practice.

Earlier this week claims management company Brunel Franklin resigned from the Claims Standard Council before announcing it had helped to set up a rival trade body, the Association of Professional Claims Managers.

The APCM has also been founded by claims firms Gladstone Brookes, We Claim U Gain, Financial Recovery Solutions and Synergy Financial Solutions.

It said its aims were to drive up professionalism within the sector, with member firms required to comply with the APCM code of practice.

But Claims Standards Council policy director Andrew Wigmore (pictured) argues claims firms are leaving the CSC because they do not like the direction of separate protocols currently being agreed between the CSC and the Ministry of Justice, which regulates the claims sector.

Wigmore says: “The CSC and the MoJ are well advanced in agreeing a set of protocols that claims management companies can sign up to. These have been developed with the full co-operation of the banking sector and all other stakeholders.

“Naturally, some claims management companies will not like what is being proposed especially our position that companies should not take upfront fees from the consumer and all claims should be at a fixed cost.”

He says the CSC is the trade body recognised by the MoJ as it has built up trust with the regulator over a long period of time.

He adds: “We will be urging the consumer to only use claims management companies that have signed up to our protocol which has been 12 months in the making.

“We do not want firms like Brunel Franklin as members of the CSC if they are unable to comply by our protocol which clearly they cannot.”

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Has Andrew Wigmore ever tried working within his ‘protocol’? Has he ever seen a file on a 50 year old widow with 5 children who has lost well over £300,000 and the IFA has failed to respond in writing to her written and verbal complaints over a period approaching a year? I didn’t think so. I don’t see why a solicitor can charge for his reasonable expenses establishing the position and assisting the regulators in what has become a quagmire yet MOJ authorised firms cannot.

  2. alan@askabigail.co.uk 5th September 2011 at 3:49 am

    I believe Andrew Wigmore is correct in his stance.

    The financial claims industry in particular has a sad history of charging clients up front and not providing a service (Cartel Client Review, Ratio Money, Loancheck…..).

    My employers are moving to a fixed, back end fee, for financial claims – they believe it’s the way forward, and importantly so do the clients.

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