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Credit Services Association

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Sir Bobby Robson Way

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Newcastle Upon Tyne

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Additional Sections

Complaints Procedure

Useful Links

Making a complaint

We work hard to ensure our Members act within the rules set by the industry regulators.

Please click on the following link and read our Code of Practice. If you think a Member has broken the rules of this Code you can make a complaint by downloading our Complaints Form.

Before making a complaint we would encourage you to carry out the following activities:

 

  • Go to the Members Directory and check whether the company you wish to complain about is a Member of the CSA. If you are still unsure, feel free to contact us. If the company is a Member of the CSA then we are able to help you with your complaint.
  • On first instance, we recommend you contact the Member company to discuss any issues you have and enquire about their complaints process. If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome then you can review our Complaints Procedure.
  • If you believe that the Member has acted in breach of our Code of Practice and the complaint meets the necessary criteria, please complete, sign and return the Complaint Form to our registered address.

CSA Complaints Procedure

 How we deal with your complaint.

All complaints must be submitted in writing, with a signed complaint form. We require the form to be signed so that we, and our Member, have the requisite authorisation to share information.

The following is the sequence of events after the CSA receive a complaint form;

  • CSA receive a signed complaint form
  • CSA register the complaint and send a copy to the relevant Member company
  • The Member is given four weeks to respond directly to the complainant
  • CSA get a copy of the response from the Member company
  • CSA considers both positions and determines whether the Code of Practice has been breached
  • Appropriate action is taken (if required) to remedy the situation
  • If further information is required the CSA contact the relevant party (the complainant or the Member company).
  • After a full review, the CSA provides a formal response to the complainant

 

If you remain unhappy with the outcome of the complaint, you may have justification to escalate the matter to our our head of compliance, Claire Aynsley, claire.aynsley@csa-uk.com.

 

Please note: The CSA can only intervene when;

  • a Member company is in breach of the Code.
  • the company is a Member of the CSA (we cannot act when the complaint is about the client of a Member company, a bank or building society for example).
  • the information supplied by a Member company appears from the facts to be incorrect.

Methods of Contact

 

Address

Credit Services Association

Complaints Department

2 Esh Plaza

Sir Bobby Robson Way

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

NE13 9BA

 

Why the CSA need a signed copy of your complaint

 

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18-11-2016

Blog: Financial capability: Working together to encourage young people to look beyond the short-term impact of problem debt during #FinCapWeek

Yvonne MacDermid OBE is chief executive of Money Advice Scotland and Consumer Non-Executive Director on the Credit Services Association’s Board. Here, she shares her views on financial capability, young people and what the debt collection/money advice sector can do to help during Financial Capability Week 2016 (14-20 November).

 

In August 2016, the Money Advice Trust published a report called ‘Borrowed Years: A spotlight briefing on young people, credit and debt’. It highlighted widespread money worries being experienced by 18-24 year olds and the fact that many young people are now beginning to build up debts as soon as they turn 18.

Young people at the beginning of their careers tend to be on low incomes and are therefore vulnerable to getting into debt. They therefore also pay more for services, utilities and borrowing, which means the impact of getting into debt is even greater on them. For young people, issues that lead to financial difficulties can become habits of a lifetime if problem debt is not addressed and then prevented in the future.

Are we creating a society that normalises and even encourages problem debt for young people?

Accessibility of pay-day-loans, online gambling, fixed odds betting terminals, interest free student/graduate overdrafts and student loans are all impacting on attitudes towards money management and future financial planning. All too often, we look at the short-term impact of debts resulting from things such as gambling and general poor money management but this can have a much longer term effect on future finances. For example, paying off a gambling debt with a short term, high interest loan could lead to inability to pay for basic living costs/bills and spiralling problem debt, which can stay with young people for decades. When it comes to decision-making once they enter the world of work, paying back a student loan may result in a contrary decision to not sign up to a pension scheme, which impacts on future financial wellbeing. And so the cycle goes on.

What can the debt collection sector do to help?

When it comes to financial capability, the debt collection sector plays a vital role in dealing with young people who have fallen into problem debt to help them find a solution. While prevention is better than the cure, this is an opportunity to prevent a pattern of recurring problem debt once it has already become an issue by resolving outstanding debts in an affordable way that enables young people to get back on their feet and then providing support with future financial management and planning.

This is why it is vital that the debt collection sector and money advice sector work closely together on a joined-up approach to resolving problem debt. The money advice sector must encourage young people not to ignore problem debt and get in touch with the debt collection agency before it gets out of control, and the debt collection sector must encourage those in problem debt to seek help with avoiding future issues.

The consumer debt collection sector is now incredibly heavily regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is working hard to focus on getting the best long-term customer outcomes. But there is only so much collections professionals can do to help. Flagging up potential future issues and signposting to further help and support from the money advice sector at this critical point in a young person’s financial capability journey is key. We therefore must have better referral systems in place to help young people get out of financial difficulty as quickly as possible so that problem debt doesn’t become long term.

That’s why the Credit Services Association (CSA) has appointed me to their board to bring an advice sector dimension to their thinking. As the UK trade body for the debt collection sector, it is also acting as the hub of help, advice and information for consumers about what support is available and which organisations can be trusted.

What is the money advice sector doing?

At Money Advice Scotland, we’re trying to foster more long term thinking and financial planning amongst young people. We want to change the culture of things like getting into problem debt and surviving on pay-day-loans being seen as ‘normal’.

We have been working closely with schools, and teaching budgeting, and how to manage money. We have asked pupils to keep spending diaries and we look at how they spend their money, and what are priorities, and what are not.

We know from other work that young men in particular are affected by gambling addiction, as it is seen as normal to gamble online, and in betting shops (sometimes at the same time) and indeed it is really easy to run up debts very quickly. That’s why we need to get the message across to young people that whilst gambling might be a great pastime, it has its pitfalls which can cause other issues for individuals.

Unlike collections professionals, money advisers can ask to see bank statements and have those tough discussions with young people to glean what the underlying issues are, whether it is peer pressure or lack of understanding. It is difficult to get young people to admit to and talk about money problems but we must work to educate them on why it is so important to speak up. We don’t need separate guidelines for young people, just excellent listening skills and the ability to probe and ask difficult questions.

#FinCapWeek 2016

If there is one thing we can achieve together as organisations during #FinCapWeek 2016, it is improving dialogue between creditors, collections professionals and money advisers to ensure that young people are not ‘slipping through the net’ when it comes to preventing, dealing with and stopping problem debt becoming the habit of a lifetime.