Bosses could be personally liable for nuisance call fines
Some nuisance call firms have dodged big penalties by declaring bankruptcy – only to open up again under a different name.
The UK data protection watchdog revealed last week it had recovered just over half of the £17.8m in fines issued for nuisance calls since 2010, as companies go into liquidation to avoid big penalties.
As it stands, only businesses themselves are liable for fines. But the new proposals currently being consulted on will provide the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) with the powers it needs to hold company directors directly responsible for fines.
The latest estimates by regulator Ofcom show British consumers were bombarded with 3.9 billion nuisance phone calls and texts last year.
Minister for digital and the creative industries, Margot James, said: “Nuisance calls are a blight on society and we are determined to stamp them out.
“For too long a minority of company directors have escaped justice by liquidating their firms and opening up again under a different name.
“We want to make sure the Information Commissioner has the powers she needs to hold rogue bosses to account and put an end to these unwanted calls.”
Alex Neill of consumer group Which?, said: “For too long, those who bombard people with calls have been able to skip fines and sidestep the rules by closing one business and opening another.
“The new proposals must result in an end to such dodgy practices so that company directors responsible for this everyday menace are properly held to account.”