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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

 

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23-03-2017

Blog: ITV Tonight programme on problem debt: Debt collection agencies can help too

Claire Aynsley is Head of Regulatory and Compliance Standards at the Credit Services Association. Since joining the organisation over 10 years ago, her dedication and passion for the industry have greatly enhanced the status of the Association, forging strong relationships with regulatory bodies and other industry stakeholders to ensure we are at the forefront of any regulatory and legislative changes.

 

Last week’s ITV Tonight programme ‘Buy Today, Pay Tomorrow’ looked at the more than two and a half million Britons in serious debt, only half of which are getting help. Consumer Action Group, StepChange and Payplan were mentioned as sources of support with the recognition that there is still a stigma attached to admitting being in debt and that many are simply ignoring the problem.

Debt collection agencies were mentioned in the programme but only in terms of the correspondence that they were sending, much of which was being ignored. Both we (the Credit Services Association) as the UK trade body for the debt collection sector, and our members signpost to help from debt charities like StepChange when it is needed, but most people don’t realise that debt collection agencies are there to help as well.

The consumer credit market is now so heavily regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and debt collection agencies have to meet such high standards through our Code of Practice, that there is no question about the fact that it is not in their interests not to do the right thing by the customer. It is part of their obligation and there’s a clear business case for focusing on positive customer outcomes. Part of that outcome might come in the form of additional support from a debt charity or consumer group, but support can also come from the debt collection agency itself.

The key advice given in the programme was not to ignore the problem and to seek help with both getting out of debt and budgeting more effectively to avoid future debt problems, but help can come in many forms and it is important to respond to debt collection agency’s correspondence, even if you think they have the wrong information, so that they can help solve the issue.

Whilst many are calling for more ‘breathing space’ for those that are struggling to make repayments, it’s also important to remember that the quicker financial difficulties are resolved and a plan is put in place, the less strain there is on the customer.

Debt collection professionals are now highly trained in helping customers resolve their debt issues in their best interests, and are required to have strong emotional intelligence and empathy skills. Where they can’t resolve a customer’s problem, they are aware of and can signpost to the best form of help.

We are working as an industry to continue to build close links with the debt/money advice sector and think that more could be done to communicate to consumers that, in most cases, debt collection agencies are there to help. Where bad practice does occur, this should be flagged up and dealt with. We are raising standards but we also need to raise awareness.