A fundraising agency that was investigated by the Fundraising Standards Board last year after it received a complaint about a fundraising call made on behalf of the charity Breast Cancer Campaign has gone into liquidation with the loss of 142 jobs, according to the insolvency practitioner handling the case.
Insight CCI Ltd, which is based in Norwich and offered services including telephone fundraising and lotteries consultancy, went into liquidation on 26 February, said Andrew Kelsall, a partner at the accountancy firm Larking Gowen, which is handling the liquidation process.
Kelsall told Third Sector that the agency, which was founded in 2005, had liabilities of £775,000, which included employee claims and debts amounting to £311,000, but about £630,000 of this would not be paid because of a deficiency of assets to liabilities.
"On that basis, unsecured creditors will not be paid in full," he said. But he noted that if the company’s assets were sold off, as planned, the employees would receive at least part of what is owed to them.
The assets consist mainly of an office and IT equipment and shares in a subsidiary company, he said.
The company’s employees were last paid at the end of January, Kelsall said, and they would be paid redundancy and notice pay by the Redundancy Payments Service, subject to a weekly statutory limit. He said that a number of staff were dismissed before 26 February after the agency experienced a fall in demand for its services.
The FRSB said in an adjudication published last May that Insight CCI had breached two parts of the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice and potentially broken the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations in carrying out a fundraising call on behalf of Breast Cancer Campaign, now known as Breast Cancer Now. It referred the complaint, which centred on a call made to a person who was registered with the Telephone Preference Service whose details had been bought from a list broker, to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The ICO had not made any public announcements about the case by the time the company went into liquidation. A spokeswoman for the regulator said this was because the agency was not liable under the Data Protection Act because it was not the data controller.
A spokesman for the Institute of Fundraising, of which Insight CCI was a corporate member, said in a statement that it was regrettable the agency had closed. "It is a tough climate for many fundraising organisations that work to raise important funds for vital causes across the country," he said.
Calls made to Insight CCI were unanswered on Thursday and Friday and the agency’s website has been taken offline. Third Sector received no reply to a message sent to Steve Gregory, the company’s commercial director, on LinkedIn.