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Payday loans firm rapped for failing to register with Info Commissioner

Director and biz fined over data privacy regs breach

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A payday loans company and its director have fallen foul of the law by failing to register with data-protection officials at the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The sole director of First Financial, Hamed Shabani, was convicted under section 61 of the Data Protection Act (DPA) at the City of London Magistrates' Court on 9 October.

Shabani was fined £150, ordered to pay £1,010.66 towards the cost of the prosecution and a £20 victim surcharge. First Financial was convicted under section 17 and fined £500, ordered to pay £1,010.66 costs and a £50 victims’ surcharge.

Under the DPA, organisations that process personal information must register with the ICO. Registration can carry a registration fee of £35. The maximum fine available in a magistrates' court is £5,000, with unlimited fines in Crown Court.

The ICO's head of enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said in a canned statement that First Financial's failure to register showed a “clear disregard” of the need to look after and protect customers’ personal information.

“Pay-day loans companies hold important information about some of the most financially vulnerable people in the UK. This makes this company and its director's decision not to face up to their legal responsibilities all the more concerning,” Eckersley said. ®

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