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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

01-10-2014

Plus ça change? - DGI data, Q3 2014

Do the latest statistics from the Credit Services Association’s Data Gathering Initiative show that consumers are more in charge of their finances? CSA Vice President, John Ricketts considers.

We are told there are lies, damned lies and statistics, the inference being that statistics enable you to argue a point that might otherwise be lost without bending the truth.

But there are occasions when statistics are most useful to help educate and inform, and this has been the driving principal behind a dedicated Data Gathering Initiative (DGI) from the Credit Services Association (CSA) that has allowed some interesting comparisons to be drawn over the 12 months (June 2013 – June 2014).

Perhaps the most keenly sought-after statistic is the total value of consumer debt held by CSA members which has remained static over the 12 months at £67bn. This status quo contrasts sharply with the increase in the volume of debts – up from 47m to 54m – an increase of 15% and the significant reduction in the average balance of 13% from £1,433 to £1,250.

Debt active in the collection process has also risen only slightly in the 12 months from £49 billion to £51 billion. This modest 4% rise again contrasts sharply with the increase in the volume of debts – from 34.5 million to 41 million – an increase of 19% and the significant reduction in the average balance of 11% from £1,407 to £1,250.

These figures are interesting for several reasons, not least because they suggest that we might be seeing a higher number of lower-value borrowing beginning to feed into the collections cycle. They are interesting also in the context of an excitable media keen to report consumers spiraling into debt when the figures suggest otherwise. Indeed it might even be argued that the figures show that consumers are more in control of their debts than they have ever been before.

The DGI explores not just the totals for debt in the collections process, but also the specifics as regards movements and trends within the debt purchase sector. The amount of debt owned by buyers as at June 2014 shows an increase of 18% from £45 billion to £53 billion, and the volume has also increased commensurately at 20% from 32 million to 38.5 million, with £3bn less dormant debt being “warehoused” by the buyers. Given that purchased debt tends to be dominated by the financial services sector, this would imply that the overall balance reduction is perhaps not in regulated debt.

This growth in the Debt Purchase market does not seem to be being shared with the debt collection agencies (DCAs) as the value and volume outsourced by debt buyers to DCAs has remained static year-on-year. There might be several reasons for this, and the most likely is that debt buyers are changing their model, taking the higher balance financial services debt out of reach of DCAs and collecting more in house. Certainly DCAs are being impacted, but then any shortfall appears to be being made up for in different areas, with the most popular target being the growing volumes of lower value Government debt.

The value of debt with DCAs for contingency commission collection has fallen by nearly a quarter (23%) from £37.5 billion to £29 billion. However, the volume has remained static at 24 million, and the average balance has dropped from £1,553 to £1,200 – a fall (similarly) of 23%. Again this might put paid to the suggestion that consumer debt is in any way ‘out of control’ and may support the earlier statement that customers are becoming better at managing their financial affairs.

DGI Data Q 3 3 2014 In addition to the financial data collected, the DGI – which uses data gathered from over 400 CSA Members by the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – also provides facts and figures regarding operational issues such as recruitment. It separates out those individuals who have a ‘revenue generating’ role (ie collectors) and those that do not. To this end it is remarkable – in the true sense of the word – not just that the industry employs some nett 500 more staff than it did in June 2013, but that the number in non-revenue generating roles has increased by 673! Although these roles are not specified, it would be reasonable to assume that a large proportion are in the area of compliance, thus highlighting one of the greatest cost challenges to agencies and buyers to stem from the new FCA regime.

Such facts, figures and commentary can only ever provide hints and suggestions at what is going on in such a hugely important industry as debt collection. But being able to compare figures over 12 months allows our commentary to have greater validity. It will be interesting to see how these figures change in subsequent quarters.