We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Direct Line and Churchill fined for altering complaint data

Regulator penalises insurers for 'serious breach'

Direct Line and Churchill have been fined £2.17 million, for altering customer complaint files before submitting them to regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Staff at the insurers -owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland - altered data in over half of the 50 electronic closed complaints files they sent to the FSA, in an attempt to improve their appearance. Seven internal documents also contained staff signatures forged by one employee.

Before the insurers collated their files for the FSA, managers had told complaints staff that if they were found not to be operating to the required standards, they would face an internal disciplinary investigation. This message "increased the risk that files would be altered improperly", the regulator said.

In tampering with the files, the companies had failed "to conduct their businesses with due skill, care and diligence", the FSA said. The breaches constituted a major problem.

"This is a serious breach," said Tracey McDermott, FSA acting director of enforcement and financial crime. The "significant penalty" was "intended to underscore to firms ... that material provided to the FSA must reflect the picture as it is - not as they might like it to be."

By settling early, the firms received a 30 percent discount from a potential £3.1 million fine.


IDG UK Sites

Microsoft Band UK release date and price rumours, features and specs: Microsoft smartwatch unveiled

IDG UK Sites

Why Sony's PS4 2.0 update is every gamer's dream (well, mine at least)

IDG UK Sites

Watch new Grolsch ad that combines stop-motion & CG for majestic results

IDG UK Sites

Apple rumours and predictions for 2015: What to expect from Apple in 2015