The firm that represented the majority of the Glasgow City Council equal pay claimants has suspended its activities. 

Action 4 Equality Scotland (A4ES) said it had received a letter from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stating it did not comply with new legislation. 

The organisation was informed that its claims management activities breached the legislation, which A4ES stated it was "completely unaware of". 

Director Stefan Cross said: "A4ES was completely unaware of the fact that legislation had been brought into effect in Scotland from April 2019.

"As a result, it was decided to suspend all of A4ES's activities whilst these matters are investigated."

It comes following an investigation by the BBC showed thousands of women who fought for equal pay last year had money deducted from their compensation packets to cover legal fees. 

The company agreed a 6.9% contribution would be taken from each of the 16,000 women represented in the dispute with the council. 

READ MORE: Money deducted from Glasgow city council equal pay fight claimants to cover union legal fees

In a statement to the press, director Stefan Cross QC added: "It is very regrettable that this situation has occurred and I'd like to personally apologise to the women involved.

"However I can assure them that we have taken all necessary steps to ensure that their claims can proceed normally.

Claims management companies in Scotland have only been regulated for several years, despite such activities being regulated in England and Wales for several years. 

Action 4 Equality Scotland will halt all activities until the matter is investigated which includes shutting down their website and ceasing all involvement in any direct negotiations as a representative. 

It has also been decided they will not be taking on any new clients. 

The ongoing settlement process, which is being handled by Addleshaw Goddard, will not be affected. 

READ MORE: Glasgow City Council accused of rushing economic plans ahead of big event

However, negotiations surrounding caterers employed by Baxter Storey due to take place in the next few days could be affected. 

Mr Cross added: "Fortunately as you know all ongoing tribunal claims are already suspended at the tribunal and won’t be resumed at least until 2021."

A4ES announced its intention to apply to the FCA to become a regulated claims management company, which they are expecting to take several months.