Our Role as a Trade Association
A trade association, also known as a ‘trade body’ or ‘industry association’, is an organisation that represents the views of its Members when speaking with the stakeholders such as the Government or industry regulators.
We provide guidance and resources to Member companies to help them conduct their businesses effectively, ethically and fairly. We also provide regular updates to Members to ensure they are aware of industry news as it happens.
Our principal objectives
- Improve Member company’s business methods and efficiency
- Add integrity and structure to Members’ business activities
- Present a united approach to those authorities and bodies who control the industry’s day-to-day activities
- Ensure our Members stay within the rules and regulations and therefore ensure the fair treatment of all customers
Member of the Trade Association Forum
The CSA is a member of the Trade Association Forum, a body formed to encourage and develop best practice among the UK trade association.
Trade Association Forum Code of Practice
Our vision is to build confidence in the debt collection and debt purchase industry amongst Member companies and the customers they deal with on a daily basis. Our aim is to make the debt collection process simple, clear and less stressful for those affected. We are committed to creating a sustainable future for the industry by:
- ensuring our Members put Customers at the heart of everything they do so that they have the confidence to engage
- acting as a Support network for all involved in and affected by the work of our Members
- taking Action to ensure that the highest standards are upheld and ongoing engagement with industry regulators and government is maintained
OUR CODES AND STANDARDS
All Members adhere to our Code of Practice, which guarantees that the very highest industry standards are upheld.
The CSA Code of Practice is the benchmark for industry best practice, assuring quality and professionalism in the services Members provide. We work closely with the regulator for consumer credit, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and other industry regulators to continually update the Code of Practice in line with the latest regulatory developments.
It is essential that all CSA Members follow our Code of Practice and provide a declaration of compliance with statutory legislation covering our industry. Members can also be subject to annual credit checks and various industry audits.
Code of Practice
Articles of Association of Credit Services Association
Articles of Association of CSA
The Association’s head office is located in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is headed up by our chief executive officer and consists of various different departments which assist in the smooth running of the organisation. Each department has a diverse range of highly skilled staff who contribute towards the successful running of the Association on a daily basis. The following departments make up the Credit Services Association (CSA);
- Membership and Compliance
- Learning & Development/Training
- Internal Operations and Human Resources (HR)
The CSA is governed by a Board of Directors who are an integral part of the Association.
The Board of Directors are elected by the Members of the Association and together they bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge from the credit and collections industry.
The CSA also has a number of special advisors to the board, and they advise on issues such as compliance, customer relations and other important industry developments.
Prior to 1 April 2014 the debt collection and purchase industry was regulated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is now responsible for regulating the consumer credit market including debt collection and debt purchase. The FCA is responsible for changing the culture and conduct of financial firms, ensuring markets and financial systems are sound and stable with firms competing effectively.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The Credit Services Association has been working closely with the FCA since it took over from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on 1 April 2013. Members of the CSA can access information and updates from the regulator through our Member Zone on the website.
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
The UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service was established in 2001 to help settle disputes between consumers and UK-based businesses providing financial services.
Ofcom is the communications regulator. They regulate the TV and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms, mobiles, postal services, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate.
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets - Ofgem
Ofgem are a non-ministerial government department and an independent National Regulatory Authority, recognised by EU Directives. Its principal objective when carrying out our functions is to protect the interests of existing and future electricity and gas consumers.
Information Commissioners Office (ICO)
The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
Lending Standards Board (LSB)
The role of the Lending Standards Board is to monitor and enforce the Lending Code and to ensure subscribers provide a fair deal to their personal and micro-enterprise borrowing customers.