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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

17-07-2017

Blog: Introducing the new updated CSA Code of Practice for the debt collection and purchase sector

A qualified solicitor, Sara de Tute has over 10 years’ experience as a Legal & Compliance Director within the debt collection sector. She is a member and former president of the Credit Services Association’s (CSA) Board of Directors and launched the new version of its Code of Practice at an event at the House of Commons on 5 July 2017.

 

The Credit Service Association’s (CSA) Code of Practice has been through a great deal of transformation since it was first introduced in 1985 (and certainly since the association was launched in 1906). 

When the Code of Practice was first launched, it was a mere two sides of A4 – and many still wish it was so succinct! However, despite being only two pages long, it contained enough to set a standard for debt collection that didn’t exist before. Clients started to demand that this standard was used, whatever the type of debt. The Code has now developed into a much longer, more in-depth document which acts as a ‘common denominator’ across all types of debt, from financial services and utilities, to Government debt collection, which are all subject to different forms of sector-specific regulation. This helps bring clarity and consistency for customers in expectations of debt collection practice.

Used by the Office of Fair Trading to produce its own Debt Collection Guidance in 2003, which was further updated in 2006 and 2011 with strong influence from CSA, the Code now forms the basis of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) CONC rules. So not only does the Code have a proud tradition dating back over 30 years, it continues to help deliver best practice and drive high standards, based on strong relationships with regulators.

 

Creating a more even playing field in debt collection best practice

The Code’s aim has always been to promote best practice in debt collection and across the debt purchase arena regardless of the type of debt. However, with the introduction of the FCA’s regulation of consumer credit, a number of CSA member firms fell outside of the new regulator’s regime due to the specialist services they offer such as collection of utility or commercial debt. This meant that there was a ‘perceived’ vacuum in terms of consistent regulation and rules for that group of the membership, and we wanted to fill that space to ensure fair customer outcomes and a more even playing field with a new updated version. 

 

Reflecting new developments in debt collection

The new Code of Practice reflects major developments in debt collection in recent years including improvements to understanding and managing of financial difficulties and mental health issues. It now includes more detail on vulnerable circumstances which customers may find themselves in. We have also made substantial updates to the data protection section in light of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is due to come into force next year, and the growing importance of due diligence when purchasing debts so it is clear exactly what is being bought, is also reflected within the new Code. The Lending Standards Board’s Standards of Lending Practice and Ofcom’s regulation around ‘persistent misuse’ have also been incorporated to take account of the full spectrum of relevant regulation and best practice.

We feel that there is definitely a place in 2017 and beyond for a Code of Practice which complements statutory regulation and as an association we work hard to demonstrate professionalism of the industry, drive up standards, and assist in identifying issues as early as possible. There’s also a place for a Code of Practice where statutory regulation doesn’t exist, for example, in the utilities sector. We want to give confidence that CSA members are all working to the same high standards regardless of the type of debt they are collecting.

 

Improving business practices in the debt collection sector

As the industry has evolved, so has our Code, and with the release of this new version we have incorporated elements of the FCA’s regulatory framework by introducing new Principles of Business, adding context and industry relevance. The Code now not only promotes best practice in terms of collections activity, but also what the CSA expects of its members in terms of their business set up, the importance of financial stability, employing people with the right skills, providing staff training, and most importantly, incorporates treating all customers fairly.

 

Building confidence in debt collection

Ultimately, our aim as the UK trade body for the debt collection sector is to build confidence in the industry, building trust and credibility for our members who have worked hard to professionalise themselves and transform their cultures to put the customer at the heart of what they do over the past 30 years. The Code reinforces all elements of best practice which provides a high level of confidence for our members’ clients, their prospective clients, regulators, consumers and industry stakeholders alike.

The revised code will be implemented from 1 January 2018.

Read the new CSA Code of Practice here