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+44 (0) 191 217 0775

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+44 (0) 20 7330 8810

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+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,


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



Credit Services Association

Complaints Department

2 Esh Plaza

Sir Bobby Robson Way


NE13 9BA


Why the CSA need a signed copy of your complaint




CSA announces new Code to promote best practice and improve confidence in trace

A new Code of Conduct is to be formally launched by the Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase industries, setting out the best practice standards it expects from members carrying out any form of tracing activity. 

The CSA Trace Code of Conduct and Principles of Trace detail a series of actions set around certain key themes including general conduct, sources of data and validation, telephone tracing, field-based tracing, and correspondence activity. It also examines the role of social media sites, reporting and updating records, and the responsibilities of the instructing party. 

Jamie McGrath, a special advisor for the CSA, explains that the Principles demand not only strict adherence to the Code, but also the need for trace firms to continually improve their own internal processes: “The aim of this Code of Conduct and the Principles is to reduce trace-related complaints, and other complaints in connection with tracing the wrong individual - often referred to as a ‘mistrace’ (or more accurately a ‘false trace’ as no nefarious activity has taken place) - whilst simultaneously promoting best practice.” 

In terms of sources of data, the Code states that each member must validate any confirmed trace by using a minimum of two independent data sources or through direct contact with the subject of the trace. 

For telephone activity, the Code makes it clear that while it is acceptable to leave messages with individuals within the same household, it is not acceptable to leave messages with neighbours, neither must a neighbour be alerted to the purpose of the call. Similar principles apply with field-based tracing activity; neighbours are a legitimate source of information, but only in terms of verifying occupancy or when the subject vacated the property. In both cases, the name of the company should be supplied if asked, but it is not compulsory to do so. 

In relation to trace correspondence, the Code details ‘appropriate’ correspondence that can be used, including ‘soft’ trace letters and contact cards being sent to the last known address. It confirms that such letters should not contain any detail of the debt but must include the company name and registered address of the sender as well as a contact name and number to comply with other industry and regulatory requirements. 

As well as examining the role of the tracing agent, McGrath says that the new Code also makes clear the role of the client (ie the instructing party): “The instructing client has a responsibility, as the data controller, to ensure that data provided at the point of instruction is accurate and up-to-date. If previous tracing activity has been carried out, all information obtained should be shared with the instructed trace agent.” 

McGrath says that clients are encouraged to supply as much relevant information as possible: “More information provided at the instruction stage will reduce the risk of possible detriment and provide a higher level of confidence when carrying out tracing activity.”

The CSA Trace Code of Conduct and Principles of Trace were both announced at the CSA Members Only Compliance Meeting in July, and produced with the help of a great number of dedicated individuals within the CSA membership and team. A formal implementation date is expected towards the end of September, after the UK Credit and Collections Conference (UKCCC). 

Adherence to the Code will be included within the Declaration of Compliance at renewal or new application stage for CSA membership.