The value of fines issued to businesses for nuisance calls more than trebled in 2015, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has revealed.

Last year, nuisance call fines totaled just £330,000. But that figure rose to £1.14 million in 2015 following changes to the law in April, which made it easier to fine firms for such offences. Before April, the ICO had to show that calls caused "serious damage and distress", but now it just has to demonstrate that they are a "nuisance".

The Office said that businesses making calls regarding pharmaceuticals, Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) compensation and, ironically, call blocking services, received the biggest fines. One of the biggest culprits was Swansea-based Help Direct UK. It was fined £200,000 after the ICO received 7,000 complaints in just one single month for repeated texts about PPI compensation and bank loans. Another company was also fined £200,000 after making an incredible total of six million calls.

Andy Currey from the ICO said: "The law is clear around what is allowed, and we've been clear that we will fine companies who don't follow the law. That will continue in 2016."