How soon will it be before the ambulance chasers get chased?
I am sure you will have been delighted to note that, at long last, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is going to formally regulate the ambulance chasers.
How long will it be before we see adverts from ambulance chasers, offering to recover some of the extortionate amounts other ambulance chasing firms have been charging customers over the past 30 years?
What an irony that would be as, from my information, charges of a third and more of the money ‘recovered’, is not uncommon.
It is right and proper that consumers are protected from mis-selling and bad advice and that, when it occurs, it is sorted out and they are properly compensated.
I believe it is also right and proper, however, that ambulance chasers – or claims management companies – should be regulated by the FCA, and the sooner the better.
One rather gets the impression that the FCA is slightly reluctant to take on this particular regulatory task, which the government has thrust upon it.
Nonetheless, the reality is that regulation of claims management companies is set to start in April 2019, and it will be very interesting to see how it develops.
For example, are the ambulance chasers going to be expected to ‘treat their customers fairly’ and if not, why not?
Then there’s the vexed issue of charges, and their current lack of transparency.
I believe consumers should be made aware of the costs of signing up to an ambulance chaser, and be informed of their right to the free use of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
There is also the issue of GDPR. Are claims management companies simply going to ignore the new data protection rules, or can we look forward to a future free of nuisance calls?
Whatever the future holds for claims management companies, they will find life as FCA-regulated businesses a whole lot more challenging than the free rein they have enjoyed to date.
I look forward with bated breath to seeing the first ambulance chaser fall prey to another claims management company.
Ken Davy is chairman of SimplyBiz