Debt management firm fined by Information Commissioner’s Office

Oxygen Ltd, a debt management firm based in south Wales, has been fined £120,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for breaching cold-calling regulations.

The ICO’s investigation found Oxygen Ltd had made more than 1m automated calls, via a third party, which claimed they could write off up to 70% of their debts, without people’s consent during April.

Steve Eckersley, the ICO head of enforcement, said: “This is a classic example of a company that has ignored the regulations. Companies making recorded marketing calls like this need permission and need to be clear who is making the calls. Oxygen Ltd did neither, and even falsely implied they were part of a government campaign”.

Commenting on the action, David Rodger, Chief Executive of Debt Advice Foundation said “This is welcome news.  Nuisance calls are a serious problem with Ofcom research showing six in ten people no longer want to answer their own phones because of unsolicited cold-calling.  Aside from the significant stress and anxiety these calls cause, they can also result in considerable detriment by preventing financially distressed borrowers from getting proper, independent advice from a reputable organisation.”