Leader comment: Time to close a fine loophole

Today we report on a company '“ Keurboom Communications '“ which has just been handed the largest ever penalty for nuisance calls.

Despite efforts to stop nuisance call, many people continue to be plagued by them.

The company made 100 million calls over an 18-month period. These unsolicited calls were often repeated, and sometimes during unsociable hours.

But the headline £400,000 fine masks the whole picture. The level of fine means the company has been fined just 4p for every 1,000 of these infuriating approaches.

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Worse, the company has now been placed in voluntary liquidation. A loophole currently allows company directors to claim bankruptcy for firms that are fined, thereby dodging payment.

And although the Information Commissioner’s Office has said it is committed to recovering the fine, this is not certain.

A new law is planned by the UK government and it can’t come quickly enough. It will make directors responsible so they cannot avoid fines by putting companies into liquidation.

Companies which flout the rules should know there is no escape. Nuisance calls need to be punished.