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+44 (0) 191 236 2709

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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,


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




Mood music - DGI data, Q3 2015

The positive mood witnessed at the recent Credit Services Association’s Members’ Meeting suggested a renewed confidence among debt collection agencies (DCAs) as a new period of regulation begins. Those that had not yet achieved authorisation were close to attaining their goal, and had the resources and investment in place to build on a more certain future under a different regime.

Such welcome confidence is no doubt a reflection too of a buoyant market with continued growth and steady increases across nearly all of the indicators measured and reported in the CSA’s Data Gathering Initiative (DGI).

For the first time since DGI records began, for example, the volume of debt placements held by DCAs rose from 18,040,160 in Q2 2015 to 19,686,436 in the third Quarter, putting Agencies back to a position last seen at the start of 2015. And while the value of debt has declined slightly (down -1.8% to £26.5 billion from Q2 and 10.2% down on the same period in 2014), the better news is that DCAs have continued to collect more.

For the fourth Quarter in succession, collections values have grown, up 10.7% on Q2 2015 from £468.7m to £518.7m. Put another way, this is now a full 12 months of consistent collections growth from the DCA sector and a staggering 26% increase since Q3 2014. As I have written elsewhere and often, mutterings of an industry somehow in crisis appear to have been well and truly misplaced!

The story of success is similar in the debt purchase arena where gross collections on purchased debt has held steady at £303.5m in Q3 2015 compared to £305.9m in Q2. This is after a period of substantial growth that has seen collections by debt buyers increase 36.7% since Q2 2014 and an amazing 57.4% since Q2 2013.

When the performance of the debt purchase businesses and DCAs are viewed together, the combined industry continues to grow with total consumer collections for Q3 2015 up 6% to £822.3m from £774.7m in Q2 2015. This is a 24% increase since Q2 2014 when total collections stood at £664.3m.

The size of the industry by virtue of people employed has also continued to grow. Staffing levels are up 2.4% at 11,511 in Q3 2015, compared to 11,242 in Q2 2015. What is perhaps most striking about these figures is the continued increase in non-collections or ‘back office’ employees that have risen to 5,384 in Q3 2015 from 5,203 in Q2 2015, an increase of 3.5%. Indeed, these non-collections staffing numbers have seen a sea change over the last few years, no doubt driven by the increasing cost of compliance under FCA regulation. The number of non-collections staff has now increased by almost a fifth in the last two years.

Behind these numbers is an interesting shift in dynamic that goes some way to explaining the reduced margins in the industry and needs to be taken into consideration when pricing for new business. In Q2 2013, revenue-generating collectors represented 60% of the industry workforce and non-revenue generating back office staff accounted for the remaining 40%. Fast forward just over two years, and in Q3 2015 revenue generating collectors have reduced to 53% and non-revenue generating back office staff have increased to 47%. Given that staff costs can account for up to 40% of a collection business’s operating costs, then the significance becomes even more apparent.

Some increases have of course been more welcome than others. The rise in the number of upheld complaints, for example, appears a concern: there were 3,598 upheld complaints in Q3 2015 compared to 3,468 in Q2 2015, an increase of 3.7%. Every quarter since DGI records began in Q2 2013 we have registered an increase and at 3,598 this is a 26% increase on Q2 2014 and a disconcerting 55% increase on Q2 2013.

The figures are, in part, a mystery because in contrast there has not been a corresponding increase in complaints about our members directly to our Association or indeed to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

It is difficult and possibly even unwise to draw too many conclusions from numbers alone without looking at the root cause. It may simply be that our members are better at identifying, investigating and reporting complaints as they occur. Firms learn from complaints and can improve processes as a result of analysing what went wrong. What is important is to understand what happened and take steps to put things right. The increased focus on achieving better outcomes at all stages of the customer journey has led to improvements in the quality of complaint handling and ensuring that remediation is offered where appropriate.