The company was responsible for 111,072 automated calls to people who had not agreed to be contacted in this way. The firm said it had bought people’s contact details from another company and then paid it to carry out the calls, which were about reducing energy bills.
But an ICO investigation found that The Lead Experts was responsible for ensuring it had the necessary consents to make the calls.
ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley said: “Companies cannot hide behind paying another firm to make the calls for them. They must take responsibility and, ultimately accept the consequences if they break the law.”
Even so, Companies House has already posted plans for The Lead Experts to be struck off and dissolved. And despite an ICO commitment to recovering fines it has issued, the company becomes the third business in a month to close down in the wake of a fine.
In September, Coventry firm Easyleads was slapped with a £260,000 monetary penalty for making 16.7 million automated marketing calls, and Welsh-based Your Money Rights was fined £350,000. However, both businesses have already filed for liquidation, meaning that the ICO - and the Treasury - could be potentially missing out on fines totalling £680,000 from all three cases.
According to a 2016 Which? report, only four of the 22 fines which had been issued by the ICO since 2015’s reforms had actually been paid, but this does not include this year's cases. The Government has yet to announce whether it will resurrect plans to make company directors personally liable for fines, dropped in the run up to June’s general election.