News release

SRA welcomes Insurance Task Force report

We have welcomed the Ministry of Justice's report on insurance fraud and will be working even more closely with other agencies in a bid to crack down further on fraudulent claims.

The Insurance Task Force published its report on Monday 18 January. It claimed that more could be done to tackle solicitors helping bogus insurance claims, which might be happening either unwittingly or knowingly.

Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: "Insurance fraud is a serious matter and we welcome the Task Force's report and its recommendations. In particular, the Task Force called on the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to adopt the civil standard of proof and we agree that has to be the right way forward. Alongside that, reviewing our fining powers would make the system more efficient and effective.

"We have, I think, made good progress on combating financial crime, not least in connection with the Home Office's professional enablers scheme, along with our own anti money laundering work. But we know we have more to do and the report will help us with that. We will also be carrying out a comprehensive review of the personal injury market this year and that will contribute further to our understanding of this area of the market.”

We are a member of the Insurance Fraud Investigators Group and works closely with insurers on this matter. It also has a dedicated officer linking with all insurers to investigate potential involvement in fraudulent activity.

The report can be found here:

Go to the report

 

Note to editors

The recommendations in the report that relate to us are:

Recommendation 4 In light of forthcoming EU regulations, the ICO should provide the insurance industry and others with clear guidance on data sharing practices in relation to insurance fraud

Recommendation 14 The government should:

  • consider strengthening the fining powers of the SRA for fraudulent or corrupt activity
  • consider reviewing the standard of proof used in cases put before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

Recommendation 15 The SRA should take a tougher approach to combating fraud including by:

  • making clear that it will give an appropriate focus to combating financial crime through its existing powers, including naming and shaming
  • considering requiring solicitors to undertake client identification checks in cases other than just those where they handle client money
  • working with the CMR to enforce the referral fee ban

Recommendation 16 Insurers should provide the SRA with evidence regarding claimant law firms suspected of insurance fraud and the SRA should investigate and act robustly. The IFB should act as a single point of contact between insurers and the SRA

Recommendation 19 Claimant and defendant representatives (APIL, MASS, FOIL and ABI) should produce a standard letter in conjunction with the SRA and IFB for insurers to send to claimants directly to verify whether they have instructed a firm to represent them

Recommendation 21 The government should develop and deliver a coherent regulatory strategy to tackle nuisance calls that encourage fraudulent personal injury or other claims, in partnership with the CMR, IFB, ICO, ABI, Ofcom and SRA

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