Anger grows at personal injury referral fees ‘racket’

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PERSONAL injury lawyers and insurance companies could face huge fines for buying and selling clients’ details without consent, according to the Office of Information Commissioner.

The OIC is investigating whether the Data Protection Act is being broken after Action Desk last week revealed GT Law was even offering to pay members of the public £600 for new leads.

Referral fees are being blamed for record insurance premiums. The vast bulk are paid to insurance companies who sell details of injured clients.

MP Jack Straw is calling for them to be banned after being stunned at the scale of the practice – the number of claims companies has doubled over the last two years to 3,400.

He said: “This is not a system. It’s a racket. The quicker it’s ended, the better it will be for the law-abiding motorist.”

Motor insurers sold information for fees which sparked claims against the self-same companies, he said.

An OIC spokeswoman said a firm might fall foul of unfair processing rules and could face a fine.

She said that an individual who sold on personal information without permission could be committing a criminal offence.