General Enquiries

+44 (0) 191 217 0775

Media Enquiries Gravity London

+44 (0) 20 7330 8810

Fax Us

+44 (0) 191 236 2709

Write to us

Credit Services Association

2 Esh Plaza

Sir Bobby Robson Way

Great Park

Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE13 9BA

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

 

Top

09-02-2016

Blog: How customer-centric Learning & Development is changing the culture of the debt collection sector

Fiona Macaskill is the Credit Services Association’s Head of Learning & Development. She is responsible for developing the Association's learning and education programmes as part of a comprehensive career and professional development pathway, and to facilitate sharing of best practice in learning and development across the industry.

 

As the UK’s trade body for the debt collection sector, our role is to ensure that member companies and the wider industry uphold the highest professional standards. A key part of this is delivering up-to-the-minute learning and development programmes that embed the right culture into the organisation for long term impact.

It’s all down to customer experience

Professional learning and development is all about culture – a business culture is not what the business says it’s going to do, but what it actually does. The reality check for whether the correct culture is embedded within a business is down to the customer’s experience with the organisation. For debt collection agencies (DCAs), their clients are not the customer; their client’s customers (i.e. the people the DCA speak to on a day-to-day basis) are. The way that DCAs deal with these customers is heavily regulated and also has a big impact on the effectiveness of the business, so it’s in everyone’s interests to make the relationship a positive one. If people don’t want to speak to DCAs, because they have had a poor customer experience then reaching a sustainable agreement and one that would ultimately benefit both parties, can be very difficult.

The debt collection sector has well-known reputational issues when it comes to consumer perceptions but we hope that with further education and industry awareness, this perception is slowly becoming less negative. This again is all down to business culture. Customer-centric learning and development needs to be embedded throughout the organisation, from senior management to compliance experts to ‘front line’ staff who talk directly to customers on the phone. Whilst the technicalities of compliance are a key focus, our qualifications place huge emphasis on the customer journey and reaching positive sustainable outcomes.  This isn’t just theory, it happens in practice. When I observe classes a key focus of discussions is on treating customers fairly and identifying and supporting customers in vulnerable situations.

If you don’t have engaged employees, you can’t have engaged customers

There has always been a real appetite for professional development in the debt collection sector – many of our member companies have their own academies and professional development programmes in addition to taking up CSA professional qualifications. This is down to businesses recognising that employee engagement and retention needs to be better if they want a positive customer experience.

Our Level 2 Diploma is an entry level technical award, that can be incorporated in a comprehensive Apprenticeship programme. New apprenticeships for the industry are currently being developed which will offer debt collection as a more credible career path in financial services. Effective recruitment, training and development identifies people with natural empathy and emotional intelligence to deal directly with customers on a sensitive and emotive issue.

Likewise, our Level 3 Diploma is a comprehensive programme focused on ensuring that customers are speaking to or interacting with knowledgeable and skilled people. This too comes down to culture and companies are realigning focus to being about sustained customer relationships. Our learning and development programmes are built around this to help businesses meet these objectives.

You can’t learn about people from a text book

This move from a process/systems-driven approach to a much more ‘human’ approach has prompted us to adapt our learning and development programmes to make them more practical, drawing on real life scenarios that can’t be learnt using a text book. Our Level 5 Diploma in Compliance Risk Management is very focused on culture and strategy at a high level and has two strong work-based elements that give students a real understanding of how a plan plays out in reality with real customers. It’s more than just gaining knowledge, it’s how you implement that knowledge effectively for better customer outcomes.

Keeping on top of the latest developments

Of course, the move towards authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other industry regulators has forced the sector to do more to keep on top of the latest regulatory developments, but it’s also important for organisations to constantly refresh their thinking based on the customer experience – and it is the people at the ‘coalface’ dealing with customers that really understand this best. Our Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI) is an online test that assesses individual collectors’ knowledge and scope of understanding regarding industry compliance. It is refreshed on an annual basis so that the questions are always up-to-date and has key sections on Treating Customers Fairly (TCF). By drilling down to an individual level to test competence on a regular basis, we are ensuring that collectors are practicing what we and the regulators preach – and encouraging them to go above and beyond compliance to do the best they possibly can for the customer.

All of our learning and development programmes are open to members and non-members and we pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of what’s happening in the sector to make sure that our students are one step ahead of regulatory changes and are pushing themselves to go the extra mile.

If you’re interested in finding out more visit our website or call 0191 217 3073 / 0191 217 3079.