SSE shells out record £10.5m for mis-selling

ENERGY powerhouse SSE was yesterday slapped with a record £10.5m fine by the energy regulator for “prolonged” mis-selling.

The fine is the largest ever imposed on an energy supplier.

Regulator Ofgem yesterday came down hard on the supplier and said that it had found “failures at every stage” for one of the big six’s telephone, in-store and doorstep sales activities, which led to “prolonged and extensive mis-selling”.

“The level of fine reflects the seriousness and duration of breaches, the likely substantial harm that they have caused and the likely gain to SSE,” the watchdog said in a strongly-worded statement.

Ofgem said that throughout its sales process, SSE failed “over a prolonged period of time” to provide clear and accurate pricing information to customers to ensure they made informed choices about switching suppliers.

SSE ended doorstep sales in July 2011, but failures in its telephone and in-store sales processess persisted, the watchdog said.

“Ofgem’s findings show SSE failed its customers, mis-sold to them and undermined trust in the energy supply industry,” said Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement.

Energy minister Michael Fallon yesterday welcomed the fine, adding that he had “rarely seen a worse case of consumers being misled so badly”.

“With rising energy prices, and multiple tariffs to contend with, consumers deserve the clearest, fairest and best possible deal,” he added.

SSE shares closed up 0.27 per cent.