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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

13-04-2018

New personal debt guidelines could force more people unnecessarily into insolvency

A leading trade association is concerned that new guidelines for debt advisers could keep customers in debt for longer by failing to reflect their true financial position, and in the worst case push them into unnecessary and potentially damaging insolvency.

 

The Credit Services Association (CSA), which represents the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors, believes that the revised guidelines - presented by the Money Advice Service (MAS) for use with the Standard Financial Statement (SFS) –  require further consideration.

Peter Wallwork, Chief Executive of the CSA, says that while the thinking behind the recent changes to the SFS are laudable, the outcomes could be disastrous for some consumers: “The issue centres around the so-called ‘trigger figures’* and whether the increased figures now being proposed accurately reflect the customer’s true financial position,” he says.

The SFS is a tool primarily used by debt advisors to summarise a person's income and outgoings, along with any debts they owe. It provides a single format for financial statements, allowing the debt advice sector and creditors to work together to achieve the right outcomes for people struggling with their finances.

 

However, in a recent meeting of the SFS Governance Group, which includes the CSA, members were presented with a set of revised ‘trigger figures’ that in some cases were 30% or more greater than those published last year.

“The challenge to MAS is that if these new figures turn out to be wrong, advisors and creditors alike will quickly lose confidence in the system and stop using it. The challenge, also, is to ensure consistency amongst advisors and stop anyone from using the guidance as an ‘allowance’, in which case the customer’s true financial position becomes distorted.

“At best, this will reduce the volume and value of arrangements and offers from customers to repay their debts and keep them in debt for longer. In the worst case, however, the figures may suggest that a customer is better to go bankrupt when they don’t need to.

“This is unlikely to be in their best interests – it will all-but destroy their chances of ever being granted credit again – and is definitely not in the interests of the creditor. There is even a question mark as regards whether keeping a customer in debt for longer by inaccurately assessing their financial position satisfies the principles of a ‘fair outcome’.”

In fairness to the advice sector, Mr Wallwork explains, MAS has sought to re-assure creditors that the revised figures are simply a guide and should not form the starting point for any assessment of expenditure. But he questions whether the previous trigger figure levels really needed fixing at all:

“Statisticians from MAS have used a method of calculation that appears to differ from previous methodologies and is at odds with the methods used in Scotland, but they are adamant that their calculations are accurate and reflect the impact of inflation, Universal Credit, and households with a second adult. While the CSA continues to support the SFS in principle, the accuracy of these figures is essential.”

The CSA has called for an early review on how the guidelines are being used, and the new trigger levels that have been set.

“Everyone wants to work from an agreed set of numbers that are fair and appropriate,” Mr Wallwork concludes, “and the CSA calls upon all advisers to use the SFS in the spirit it was intended; any new figures must be given as a guide, and not an allowance.

-ends-

*The trigger figures represent pre-agreed levels for certain areas of discretionary household expenditure. The trigger figures help identify levels of monthly expenditure deemed reasonable when completing the SFS.