The Association of Professional Claims Managers, a new association for financial claims firms has launched today.
The APCM is a new body, founded by Brunel Franklin, Gladstone Brookes, We Claim U Gain, Financial Recovery Solutions and Synergy Financial Solutions, with other CMCs expected to join the APCM in the coming weeks and months.
The APCM is a trade association representing claims management firms and is intended to increase the professionalism and levels of service provided by regulated claims management companies.
It says its objectives are to:
- To promote the highest standards of professionalism within the claims management industry.
- To assess new applicants’ fitness for membership and monitor and assess all members’ compliance with the APCM Code of Practice, on an on-going basis.
- To provide compliance support and guidance to member firms and in doing so assist them to comply with relevant legislative and regulatory requirements.
- To represent the views of members to regulatory bodies, government departments, consumer groups and other interested parties.
- To provide an independent arbitration service to deal with complaints from consumers and other parties about members.
Member firms must comply with the APCM Code of Practice which aims to protect consumer interests over and above the protections offered by law.
Kevin Rousell, head of claims management regulation at the Ministry of Justice, says: “I welcome serious initiatives by the claims management industry to develop a professional standard above and beyond the mandatory minimum that statutory regulation requires.
“Consumers that choose to use claims management companies, and finance companies that receive the claims, are likely to have less cause for complaint with CMCs that adopt such higher standards.”
Sally Bowyer, managing director of Brunel Franklin and one of the founder members of the APCM, says: “We’ve drawn together what we consider to be some of the most professional and ethical players in the sector and can offer a new level of professional conduct and confidence to consumers looking to employ the services of a financial claims management firm.”
All applicants for membership are required to demonstrate that their business operations comply with the APCM Code of Practice. This is assessed on behalf of the APCM through an independent compliance audit. Membership to the APCM is based solely on the results of the compliance audit.
On-going adherence to the APCM Code of Practice is also assessed through an annual audit similar to that undertaken for applicants. The trade body says this process of establishing that members operate in an ethical, professional and customer-focussed way will enable members to distinguish themselves within the industry.