A Resolver Group company is marketing an Online Dispute Resolution platform called Decider which, it claims, is being used by Open Banking, Ombudsman Services, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and other Alternative Dispute Resolution providers. It aims to simplify how organisations evaluate, mediate and arbitrate on disputes by providing a dynamic case management system that unlocks organisational efficiencies, helps deliver significant cost reductions and optimises the online experience for users. But how it could be used for a generalisation such as Open Banking is unclear.
Resolver has a chequered organisational history. Resolver, the free consumer complaints service recommended by Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com is working with MoneySavingExpert.com, the UK's biggest consumer advice website, bringing together its campaigning power with Resolver's focus on helping consumers raise and resolve issues, it says. Interestingly, Resolving Ltd (the legal entity) which claimed not to be a Claims Management Company, was authorised by the Claims Management Regulator on 19th March 2019, just days before CMCs become regulated by the FCA. But it did not apply to the FCA for authorisation, instead, changed the legal entity behind it.
Essentially, Resolver was operating as a CMC and obtained a licence from the Claims Management Regulator just before the FCA took over regulation of CMCs on 1st April 2019. But Resolver had always claimed not to be a CMC yet its automated processes appeared to fit the FCA definition. It seems that a new version of Resolver has quietly emerged, run by a new company, that is attempting to operate in a manner that falls outside the definition of a CMC. The revised iteration is a lot less campaigning in its stance, describing itself now as a free, independent issue resolution service that connects consumers with businesses around the world, helping them find the best outcome every time. Now, the Resolving Group is clearly a commercial operation – helping consumers make complaints for free clearly did not pay, so now is now trying to sell an online dispute resolution system.
Secure Compliance Ltd
Meanwhile, Secure Compliance Ltd based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire had also gained full FCA authorisation, on 23rd January, but applied to cancel this on 3rd March. It has to continue to meet FCA standards in dealing with its existing customers.
A personal injury solicitor put his own interests ahead of his clients, turning a Nelsonian blind eye when concerns were raised so as to maintain the flow of referrals from claims companies. Farooq Rafiq was struck off for multiple breaches of the rules and also following three convictions for assault – one committed while he was on bail for the other two. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard that Mr Rafiq, born in 1984, qualified in 2009 and from 2011 was a partner at Broadway Solicitors in Oldham before it incorporated as Broadway Legal in 2016 and he became the sole director. The Solicitors Regulation Authority closed down the firm in November 2018. The tribunal considered that the totality of the respondent’s conduct was such that allowing the respondent’s name to remain on the roll would have an adverse effect on public confidence in the reputation of the profession. Mr Rafiq was also ordered to pay agreed costs of £55,000.
He admitted that Broadway was financially dependent on receiving clients from claims management companies – who were responsible for 97% of the firm’s clients – and did not advise clients that paying fees to the CMCs may well not have been in their best interests. When issues were brought to his attention, he did very little to remedy or rectify those issues. He had repeatedly and consistently subordinated the interests of his clients for his own interests and that of the firm.