LONDON, September 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
"Honesty, fairness and transparency" promised for consumers
The founder members of the Association of Professional Claims Managers (APCM), are pleased to announce its official launch. The APCM is a new body, founded by Brunel Franklin (Altrincham); Gladstone Brookes (Warrington); We Claim U Gain (Swansea); Financial Recovery Solutions (Stockport); and Synergy Financial Solutions (Elland). Other appropriate professional CMCs will be invited to join the APCM in the coming weeks and months.
The Association of Professional Claims Managers (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.
The APCM's objectives are:
- 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, said:
"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, MD of Brunel Franklin and one of the founder Members of the APCM, said: "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 (CMC)."
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. In this way the APCM will best represent those claims management companies that are committed to delivering high standards to their customers.On-going adherence to the APCM Code of Practice is also assessed through an annual audit similar to that undertaken for applicants. This process of establishing that Members operate in an ethical, professional and customer-focussed way will enable Members to distinguish themselves within the industry. Customers will know when dealing with a Member of the Association of Professional Claims Managers that it has selected a firm that is committed to "delivering what it says it will" where honesty, fairness and transparency are at the heart of the service.
Member firms will be represented by the Association of Professional Claims Managers in dealings with regulatory bodies and consumer groups and be kept up to date with regulatory developments. A unique offering of Membership of the APCM is that Members will have access to a "compliance helpline and support package" enabling them to seek guidance about regulatory and compliance matters thereby obtaining reassurance and protection around their business operations.
The APCM has consulted and worked in partnership with Bernadette McEvilly at Credit Competence, to ensure its own Code of Practice and organisational structure is fully compliant and encourages best practice. Bernadette has operated in the financial services industry for over 24 years, with the last 17 years spent specialising in the compliance arena. This includes a number of Head of Compliance roles and consultancy for organisations engaged in activities that are subject to Ministry of Justice, Office of Fair Trading and FSA regulations. For further information visit http://www.apcm.org.uk
Jon Gardner. BeyondPR. http://www.BeyondPR.co.uk. Tel +44(0)114-275-6996. Mobile +44(0)7930-697773.
SOURCE The Association of Professional Claims Managers