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The Credit Services Association (CSA)

General Enquiries

+44 (0) 191 217 0775

Media Enquiries Gravity London

+44 (0) 20 7330 8810

Fax Us

+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, 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

 

CSA News

Welcome to the CSA News page. Here you will find all of our latest press releases, news articles, and comment pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

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Latest News

12-09-2017

Blog: Senior Managers & Certification Regime: Risk culture, accountability, and what it will mean for higher management roles

Conduct Risk Management sees beyond econometric and other 'box-ticking' traditions of risk management. Whilst protecting senior managers, it helps all staff to make positive use of conduct risk to promote behaviour the regulator will accept as 'good', as good behaviour is good business. 

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18-08-2017

Blog: A-Level Results 2017: Why you should consider a career in debt collection

A-Level Results Day is always full of mixed emotions but whether you have got top grades or not done quite as well as expected, there are now more potential learning and career pathways than ever for school leavers.

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10-08-2017

Blog: Ofwat's 'unlocking the value in customer data' report for water companies

Last month I attended the launch of water industry regulator Ofwat’s report on ‘unlocking the value in customer data’. With the recent introduction of the ‘open water’ market, it’s certainly an interesting time in the sector and data sharing is top of the agenda with the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now less than 12 months away.

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10-08-2017

Blog: FCA Mission 2017/18: Setting the tone for consumer credit firms’ culture

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its Mission and Business Plan for 2017/18 following consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. The ‘headline’ for the national media was a ‘considerable focus’ on personal debt beyond just specific areas such as payday lending, which has already been capped (see BBC news article here).

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02-08-2017

Blog: How fintech can support people with mental health problems – and what the collections sector needs to do

As we know, the link between debt and mental health is significant. The recently published vulnerability guide for debt collection cited that one in two consumers with a debt problem also has a mental health problem. As members of the credit industry we are already engaging with this agenda and the people affected, so we should be using every tool available to us to address the problem.

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25-07-2017

Blog: Good practice creditor toolkit on working collaboratively with debt advice agencies

On 5 July 2017, the Money Advice Service (MAS) launched its new good practice creditor toolkit on working collaboratively with debt advice agencies. Having been involved in its development through various workshops, the Debt Advisory Operations Group (DAOG) and providing a case study on how Arrow Global works with a range of debt advice agencies for the toolkit, I was pleased to be asked to help launch it on behalf of the creditor community.

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24-07-2017

CSA agrees discount with Royal Mail as part of new Test & Innovate Scheme

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase sectors, has secured an agreement with Royal Mail to bring the Test & Innovate Scheme (TIS) to the collections industry. 

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24-07-2017

CSA appoints new Coordinator to support members in exploiting the Apprenticeship Levy

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industry, has appointed Arran Hope as its Apprenticeship Coordinator. 

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17-07-2017

The CSA’s UKCCC named Conference of the Year

The UK Credit & Collections Conference (UKCCC), the Credit Services Association's 2016 flagship event, has been named Conference of the Year by the Trade Association Forum (TAF) in its Best Practice Awards 2017.

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17-07-2017

Blog: Introducing the new updated CSA Code of Practice for the debt collection and purchase sector

The Credit Service Association’s (CSA) Code of Practice has been through a great deal of transformation since it was first introduced in 1985 (and certainly since the association was launched in 1906). 

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11-07-2017

CSA introduces revised Code of Practice at House of Commons launch event

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industry, has revised and relaunched its Code of Practice to incorporate new Principles of Business. 

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04-07-2017

Blog: Why lifelong learning is the future of financial services

Last month (19-25 June 2017) was the Festival of Learning (previously Adult Learners Week), which marks the biggest celebration of lifelong learning in England.

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23-06-2017

CSA introduces revised Code of Practice to reflect FCA's regulatory framework

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase sectors, has revised its Code of Practice to incorporate new Principles of Business. 

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13-06-2017

The CSA’s UKCCC shortlisted as Conference of the Year

The UK Credit & Collections Conference (UKCCC), the Credit Services Association's 2016 flagship event, has been shortlisted for Conference of the Year by the Trade Association Forum (TAF) in its Best Practice Awards 2017.

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30-05-2017

CSA confirms new portfolio appointments

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors, has confirmed the appointment of its new Board and their respective portfolios.

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16-05-2017

Blog: 'Persistent misuse’: insight into Ofcom’s revised Statement of Policy

The Communications Act 2003 empowers Ofcom to take action against those engaged in ‘persistent misuse’ of an electronic communications network or service. Misuse is defined as use of a network causing, or being likely to cause, annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety to consumers. Persistent means this kind of misuse being repeated enough to represent a pattern of behaviour or practice or recklessness about whether others suffer relevant harm. 

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16-05-2017

CSA appoints new Head of Sales and Business Development

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industries, has appointed Ruth Greaves as its new Head of Sales and Business Development. 

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12-05-2017

CSA members recognised at Credit Awards

CSA members were amongst those recognised at the 2017 Credit Awards at the ceremony in London on 11 May.

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12-05-2017

Blog: Challenging times: Preparing for Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims

Publication of the Pre-action Protocol for debt claims (PAP) in March finally closed a long-running saga that had more potential endings than a Hollywood whodunit. In the end, there was indeed a final plot twist, but primarily in the timing, for the Protocol is to come into effect in October 2017, leaving creditors and claimants with little time to prepare.

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04-05-2017

Blog: Hot topics in digital debt collection

I attended the Digital Banking Club’s Collections Debate at the Law Society offices in Chancery Lane as part of Credit Week last month. There was a cross section of credit and customer engagement professionals in the room, from IT staff to C Suite execs from some large financial services and utilities institutions, which made for an interesting and engaging session on some of the hot topics in digital debt collection.

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28-03-2017

Blog: Credit Week: How we're working on behalf of the credit industry to influence policy for the mutual benefit of firms and customers

As the UK trade association for the debt collection sector, we make it our business to engage with regulators, government, international bodies (such as FENCA), researchers, policy makers and other key stakeholders to be the voice of the industry on key issues.

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27-03-2017

Blog: New vulnerability guide for debt collection: 21 questions, 21 steps for both customer and staff wellbeing

The University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre has published a new guide on vulnerability and debt collection which addresses 21 questions raised by dealing with vulnerable customers and 21 steps to take to improve practice. 

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23-03-2017

Blog: ITV Tonight programme on problem debt: Debt collection agencies can help too

Last week’s ITV Tonight programme ‘Buy Today, Pay Tomorrow’ looked at the more than two and a half million Britons in serious debt, only half of which are getting help. Consumer Action Group, StepChange and Payplan were mentioned as sources of support with the recognition that there is still a stigma attached to admitting being in debt and that many are simply ignoring the problem.

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21-03-2017

Responsible thinking

It is now exactly a year since the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) formally implemented the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) into the banking world as a complete overhaul of the previous Approved Persons Regime (APER) to increase individual accountability. 

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21-03-2017

FLA and The UK Cards Association launch new research on customer vulnerability

Release by FLA & The UK Cards Association.

The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) and The UK Cards Association are today launching a new publication – Vulnerability; a guide for debt collection – that will help their members to better identify and support customers in vulnerable circumstances. 

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14-03-2017

CSA Accepted on Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP)

The Credit Services Association (CSA) is delighted to have been included in the new register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP) announced today 14 March 2017 and aimed at improving the quality of apprenticeship delivery.

It is already well progressed with its plans to deliver apprenticeships to its members and other companies who are interested in the areas specialising in Debt collection, Compliance, and Leadership and Management.

 

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13-03-2017

Blog: Cabinet Office Fairness Meeting: The Standard Financial Statement and debt collection

I attended a Fairness Meeting at the Cabinet Office last month where I was asked to be part of a panel along with Citizens Advice and Computershare on how the new Standard Financial Statement (SFS) fits in to debt collection. 

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07-03-2017

Member companies in Scotland – Apprenticeship Levy update

We have been asked by a number of our members for clarity around the operation of the Apprenticeship Levy in Scotland. CSA Head of Learning & Development Fiona Macaskill contacted our Financial Services Sector strategic lead at Skills Development Scotland to get the accurate picture.

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07-03-2017

Blog: National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week 2017: championing careers in debt collection

This week is both National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week 2017. During last year’s National Apprenticeship Week, I wrote a blog entitled ‘Ever thought about a career in debt collection?’

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14-02-2017

Blog: The Apprenticeship Levy – which ‘camp’ do you sit in?

Ahead of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April, we invited Mike Thompson of Barclays to deliver a presentation at the recent CSA Members' Meeting outlining how businesses can benefit and make the most of this new initiative. 

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13-02-2017

Three new legislative requirements credit and collection firms should prepare for in 2017

Peter Wallwork, CEO of the Credit Services Association (CSA), recently wrote a guest blog for electronic document distribution specialist Netsend, looking at three new legislative requirements credit and collection firms should prepare for in 2017.

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09-02-2017

CSA appoints new President and confirms new Board

John Ricketts has succeeded Leigh Berkley as President of the Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors. His appointment was confirmed at the CSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Leicester on 7 February 2017.

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06-02-2017

CSA dismisses IFS report as an unfair portrayal of new Apprenticeship Levy

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors, also disagrees with the IFS claim that increasing the number of apprentices ‘could sacrifice quality for quantity’.

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10-01-2017

Blog: The next generation of customer service in 2017 – how does the debt collection sector need to adapt?

In the debt collection sector – as in any area of the economy - customer engagement is vital. Customers are increasingly seeking empathetic experiences and, if this is absent, evidence suggests that the chance of success is greatly reduced.

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22-12-2016

Blog: 2016: The year the debt collection sector came of age

2016, despite its many challenges, seems to be the year that the debt collection sector has ‘come of age’ in terms of how central the customer journey has become to the culture of our businesses and, whether FCA regulated or not, standards of compliance and customer treatment have continued to improve significantly, for which we can all be proud. 

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20-12-2016

Joint action plan on nuisance calls and revised persistent misuse policy

In December Ofcom published a long-awaited revised policy on ‘persistent misuse’.

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14-12-2016

Leveraging the Levy

Think ‘apprenticeships’ and one could easily be inclined towards thinking of young men and women in overalls learning the skills of a trade perhaps of fixing cars, wiring plugs or laying bricks. We have become accustomed to a narrow, ‘trade’ definition, despite the fact that apprenticeships in financial services, banking, insurance etc are now part of established best-practice.

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09-12-2016

Update on the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims (PAP)

Joint statement by the Credit Services Association and the Civil Court Users Association

Further to yesterday’s update, the CPRC meeting was held this morning.  The meeting was attended by Leigh Berkley and Rob Thompson as industry representatives, and by the Master of the Rolls.  

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07-12-2016

CSA Level 3 Diploma - feedback from students

The CSA Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma for the Debt Collection and Purchase Industry is an industry-recognised qualification that offers proof of knowledge and the skills required to function as a proficient professional within the debt collection industry. We've gathered together a selection of student's thoughts and experiences of studying the course.

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06-12-2016

Blog: Autumn Statement 2016: How can the debt collection sector prepare for anticipated increase in debt problems for the ‘just about managing’ in 2017?

Despite attempts to support those that are ‘just about managing’ (JAMs), the Money Advice Trust’s Joanna Elson is predicting a “significant increase in debt problems in the year ahead” as a result of higher inflation and lower wage growth confirmed in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2016.

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18-11-2016

Blog: Financial capability: Working together to encourage young people to look beyond the short-term impact of problem debt during #FinCapWeek

In August 2016, the Money Advice Trust published a report called ‘Borrowed Years: A spotlight briefing on young people, credit and debt’. It highlighted widespread money worries being experienced by 18-24 year olds and the fact that many young people are now beginning to build up debts as soon as they turn 18. 

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17-11-2016

Consumers should not bury their heads in the sand over debt

To coincide with the first ever Financial Capability Week, the Credit Services Association (CSA) has issued some simple guidance around debt, and particularly how to avoid becoming a case of ‘mistaken identity’ and how to resolve the matter should it occur.

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14-11-2016

Blog: Financial Capability Week 2016 #FinCapWeek: One small step consumers can take to avoid unknown debts

With 40% of adults saying that they are not in control of their finances, financial capability couldn’t be higher on the agenda in 2016. We therefore welcome the Money Advice Service’s launch of the first ever Financial Capability Week #FinCapWeek, which is taking place this month (14-20 November 2016) to bring organisations together to discuss what we can do to make positive change.

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26-10-2016

Blog: Making progress on vulnerable customers in debt collection - does it require a change in the law?

“Too much game planning and not enough action” was the accusation levelled at experts on the vulnerability, mental health and debt collection panel at the UK Credit and Collections Conference #ukccc last month by the event host, journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil.

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21-10-2016

Blog: Debt-to-income ratio and financial distress – what the debt collection sector can do

In August, I attended the launch of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) latest Occasional Paper which asks the question: ‘Can we predict which consumer credit users will suffer financial distress?’ This has been published as part of the FCA’s investigations into approaches to assessing creditworthiness in the consumer credit market with a view to amending current guidance.

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23-09-2016

Blog: Daily Mail article response: Abuse of CCJs? Litigation is a last resort in debt recovery

Last week (12 September 2016), the Daily Mail ran an article entitled ‘Lives ruined for the sake of a penny’. It was about an investigation into the use and possible abuse of County Court Judgements (CCJs) in which some of our debt collection agency members were mentioned.

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14-09-2016

Blog: Moving beyond money: the Financial Wellness of UK households

It’s safe to say that money is a big part of our day-to-day lives.

Whether we’re earning it, spending it, or simply wishing we had more of it, money is something we spend a lot of time thinking about.

This is even more true for the research team at the Personal Finance Research Centre! We specialise in social research across all areas of personal finance – so, naturally, money issues are often at the forefront of our minds.

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13-09-2016

Blog: The Standards of Lending Practice: Putting the customer first

The Lending Standards Board (LSB) and the wider industry had grown accustomed to the structure of the Lending Code, with its focus on detailed provisions and because of the value it added to financial services firms before the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced the Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC). Professor Russel Griggs’ independent report on the Lending Code last year, while highlighting its positive aspects, concluded that change was necessary if a Code was to have relevance when co-existing alongside the statutory regime.

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08-09-2016

Blog: Financial services and vulnerability: From principles and panels, into practice and change

A few weeks ago, I heard a young woman save someone’s life. She wasn’t a counsellor. She wasn’t a paramedic. She wasn’t a doctor. She worked in debt collection. The actions she took stopped an extremely distressed customer from taking their life.

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31-08-2016

Blog: How the energy sector is addressing vulnerability, debt and fuel poverty

When it comes to debt and vulnerability, the consumer is at the heart of the energy industry. Through regulation, voluntary initiatives and a range of industry-led schemes to reduce fuel poverty, energy suppliers take their obligations to their customers very seriously. Energy suppliers are obliged, by regulation, to take a customer’s ability to pay into account when resetting repayment rates for debt. Whether done in-house or through external debt collection agencies, energy customers can be confident that everything is being done to understand their financial circumstances so that repayment plans are realistic for both parties.

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24-08-2016

Blog: How can financial services firms encourage customers to report financial abuse?

In April 2016, we published ‘A framework to help banks, other creditors and advice providers challenge financial abuse in intimate partner relationships’. This report was co-branded with the British Bankers Association, and the launch was supported by Karen Bradley MP, who spoke in her capacity as the (then) Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime. One reason the report is needed is that many people are not aware that domestic abuse can be financial as well as physical. 

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12-08-2016

Blog: Tackling the ‘double stigma’ of debt and mental health

It’s well known that there’s a stigma surrounding mental health problems. A huge amount of work has been done to challenge this stigma like the Time to Change initiative run by Mind and Rethink, and efforts by Princes William and Harry through their Headspace campaign. But I think most of us acknowledge that there’s still a lot more work to do. Considering that one in four of us will experience a mental health condition every year, we need to get more comfortable discussing these conditions, and being open about the ups and downs of our emotional lives. 

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08-08-2016

Blog: Raising standards for debt collection ‘tracing’ activity

Tracing is an activity carried out in order to locate the whereabouts of an individual, where it has been determined that they have moved on. In our sector, tracing is carried out to locate a new address for a customer in order to re-engage with them or reconnect them with their creditors. Tracing is also used to locate individuals who are beneficiaries to a windfall or locating missing relatives.

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02-08-2016

CSA creates further opportunity for dialogue with creditors to improve the customer experience

The Credit Services Association has called for even greater collaboration between creditors and the debt management companies and highlighted the growing role that debt purchasers are playing as pseudo ‘creditors’ in improving the customer relationship.

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01-08-2016

CSA welcomes new Standard Financial Statement but urges a designated savings account

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industries, has broadly welcomed the launch of the new Standard Financial Statement to help create a clearer picture of an individual’s financial position and enable a fairer, faster resolution for resolving customer debts.

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01-08-2016

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.

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28-07-2016

Blog: Finding a ‘win-win’ for all those involved in debt collection

What can the debt collection sector learn from the world of sport? Perhaps more than you would think. The future of debt collection depends on creditors, collectors and customers working together for a common good. Leadership and culture are undeniably central to this.

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20-07-2016

Blog: Bringing clarity to debt collection for customers: a debt adviser’s perspective

Debt advice tends to focus on people who can't afford to pay their debts. Debt collection has the extra problem of distinguishing between "can't pays" and "won't pays". But many customers with old utility and mobile debts don't fit into either of these categories, because they didn't know the debt existed. 

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07-07-2016

Blog: Are debt buyers the new creditors?

I recently spoke at the Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) Conference to share best practice with the debt management sector on how we in the debt collection sector are improving consumer, regulator and stakeholder engagement.

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21-06-2016

Blog: Bringing to life the complexity of assisting vulnerable customers who are in financial difficulty

Assisting vulnerable customers is top of the agenda for the debt collection sector and therefore has been a key topic for any major industry event in recent years. However, as with most things in life, the theory and the practice can be very different.

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14-06-2016

CSA urges FCA to reconsider proposals on fee increases

Proposals by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to increase the variable fee paid by authorised debt collection firms could have ‘unintended consequences’ for smaller agencies, according to the Credit Services Association (CSA), the body that represents the debt collection and purchase industry.

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13-06-2016

Blog: ‘Money on your mind’: bringing together creditors and debt collection professionals on prevention of financial difficulty for those with mental health issues

This morning, the MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis-backed Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) has published its new ground-breaking report on money and mental health: ‘Money on your mind.’ This is something the Credit Services Association, the UK trade body for the debt collection and debt purchase sector which deals directly with customers who are in financial difficulty, has been involved in from its inception. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a roundtable hosted by MMHPI back in April where we discussed how we can identify ‘crisis spending’ amongst customers with mental health issues.

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07-06-2016

CSA appoints new General Counsel

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industries, has appointed Angela McClean as its new General Counsel. 

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07-06-2016

CSA Level 5 Diploma "key building block for industry's knowledge base"

CSA Head of Learning & Development Fiona Macaskill explains how the CSA Level 5 Diploma has become a key building block for the industry’s knowledge base.

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03-06-2016

Blog: Is a Debt Collection Agency the same as a Debt Management Company?

Following the recent collapse of Debt Management Company (DMC), Compass Debt Counsellors, there has been widespread criticism of the fee-charging ‘debt settlement’ model which sees customers’ repayments being held in a ‘savings pot’ in order to agree a one-off settlement figure for the debt, rather than being paid to creditors gradually.

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27-05-2016

Financial Ombudsman Service complaints against debt collectors fall

Complaints made against debt collectors have fallen over the last 12 months, according to the latest figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service, as firms continue to give even greater priority to identifying and understanding all expressions of dissatisfaction and resolving issues at source.

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12-05-2016

Blog: What is financial abuse and how can the debt collection sector challenge it?

Last month, I attended an event hosted by Citizens Advice to launch their recently published ‘Addressing Financial Abuse’ report. The report provides banks, other creditors and advice providers with a framework for helping to stand up to financial control by intimate partners.

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29-04-2016

CSA reports members’ success in seeking FCA authorisation – over 50% now fully authorised

Over half of all debt collection agencies and members of the Credit Services Association (CSA) who have applied to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for full authorisation have had their applications accepted, and the pace of authorisations appears to be accelerating.

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29-04-2016

Blog: What does digital debt collection mean for customer engagement?

At the Credit Summit 2016 earlier this month, one of the key topics discussed was digital technology and innovation in debt collection. This is a complex area that can often seem at odds with the ‘customer engagement’ agenda, which focuses on understanding and interacting with customers to achieve the best possible outcome based on their specific needs.

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28-04-2016

Blog: Are you Mailmark ready?

Royal Mail’s new Mailmark barcode technology brings mail and business information together, providing organisations who mail out high volumes (millions of letters) with powerful analytics on exactly what happens to each letter from the moment it leaves them to the moment it arrives at the recipient’s door, and beyond.

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12-04-2016

Blog: Seizing the initiative

There has been a considerable amount of noise recently around the issue of Apprenticeships, and deservedly so. Something that was once the preserve of industries coaching young men and women to master a particular ‘trade’ or ‘craft’ has long since evolved into schemes that are more comprehensive and inclusive, and embracing the professions. 

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01-04-2016

Blog: Subscription traps: The responsible way to use Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs)

Citizens Advice’s recent report on ‘subscription traps’ highlighted worrying issues with poor use of Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs) by online retailers like Amazon, who came under fire last year for its Amazon Prime ‘trial’, which saw customers unknowingly tied into annual payments. It showed a lack of awareness amongst customers about what the payment mechanism is and how it works, with only 21% knowing the difference between a CPA and a direct debit because of things like unclear terms and conditions and pushy advertising ‘tricking’ people into signing up. 84% of those surveyed didn’t even realise they had agreed to a subscription and 36% had a request to cancel a CPA turned down or ignored.

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24-03-2016

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.

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18-03-2016

2016 Budget Round Up for CSA Members

The 2016 Budget Policy Paper was released on Wednesday 16 March 2016. Please find below a link to download a summary of some key points that may be of interest to Members.

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17-03-2016

Blog: National Apprenticeship Week 2016: Ever thought about a career in debt collection?

We’re sure if you asked most young people if they’ve ever considered a career in debt collection, it won’t be something that has crossed their mind. The launch of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 provides financial services firms with a huge incentive to develop an apprenticeship scheme if they don’t already have one and we see this as an opportunity for young people in the job market and also an opportunity to position debt collection as a credible and rewarding career path.

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16-03-2016

Blog: How can the debt collection sector better support customers with mental health issues?

Last week saw the launch of MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis’ new Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, which has been set up to research and find solutions to the worrying link between mental health and money problems. 

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10-03-2016

Blog: What will the new EU Data Protection Regulation mean for the Euro-consumer when it comes to debt collection?

The final version of new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to be published by the European Parliament this summer.  The Credit Services Association (CSA) is working with our Members to ensure that they are ready for the changes that will come into force mid-2018, and are aware of the impact on the customers they deal with. The purpose of the new regulation is to give consumers more control over their data, but as we have highlighted through work done over the past few years, there may be unintended consequences for consumers. We are therefore working with various stakeholders on refining the details of the regulation before it is finalised.

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09-03-2016

Launch of The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

The Money and Mental Health Institute launced on 4 March 2016 with the aim of researching the link between mental illness and money problems. 

 

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08-03-2016

FCA publishes latest Policy Development update

The FCA has published the March edition of its Policy Development Update.

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03-03-2016

CSA voices support to Money Advice Scotland as consultation closes on new Plan

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the representative body of the UK debt collections and debt purchase industry, has voiced its support for Money Advice Scotland in the charity’s response to the consultation on the Money Advice Service Business Plan 2016/17.

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23-02-2016

Blog: A brighter future for debt collection in the mobile phones sector?

Last month (January 2016), Citizens Advice published a report called ‘Falling Behind: an assessment of debt collection practices in the mobile phone market.’ It referred to ‘cumbersome, inadequate debt collection processes which act as a barrier to attempts by customers and their advisers to resolve debt problems’ including issues with poor communication and dispute handling. There are now calls by Citizens Advice for action to be taken to improve practices in-line with other sectors such as water and energy, where big improvements have been made in recent years.

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16-02-2016

Blog: How can we improve fairness in government debt collection?

Last month, Citizens Advice Bureau published a report on fairness in Government debt collection after it emerged that the number of related issues they were dealing with had doubled between 2005/6 and 2014/15. The report highlighted issues such as there being no consistent approach to assessing affordability and poor communication and practice that was leaving vulnerable customers in even worse financial difficulty. Now, money saving expert Martin Lewis and debt charity StepChange are calling on the Government to all people struggling with temporary debt ‘breathing space’ so that they can pay for essentials like food.

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09-02-2016

Blog: How customer-centric Learning & Development is changing the culture of the debt collection sector

As the UK’s trade body for the debt collection sector, our role is to ensure that member companies and the wider industry uphold the highest professional standards. A key part of this is delivering up-to-the-minute learning and development programmes that embed the right culture into the organisation for long term impact.

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09-02-2016

CSA leadership confirmed for 2016

Members at the Credit Services Association (CSA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) voted unanimously to retain Leigh Berkley and John Ricketts as President and Vice President respectively of the Association for another 12 months. Nick Cherry, Managing Director of Phillips & Cohen Associates International, has also been re-elected to the Board for another three-year term.

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02-02-2016

CSA to set out important principles at annual meeting

Two important documents are to be launched by the Credit Services Association (CSA) this week tackling the major issue of the withdrawal of paying accounts and offering key guidance and high-level principles of outsourcing in the credit industry.

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18-01-2016

Blog: We’re supporting StepChange’s National #DebtDay to raise awareness of free debt help

Today (18 January 2016) is predicted to be debt charity StepChange’s busiest day of the year with 20,000 people seeking advice on £50m+ worth of debt. However, recent research has shown that many still don’t know where to turn for debt help.

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06-01-2016

CSA urges final response to PAP Consultation

The Credit Services Association (CSA) is urging its members to engage with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) as the deadline to the MoJ’s consultation on Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) comes to a close on January 11.

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30-12-2015

Blog: The debt collection sector’s five most important developments of 2015

2015 has been a year of significant progress and achievement for our industry and much has been achieved in a landscape for debt collection that has changed irrevocably.

Our new-styled annual event - the UK Credit and Collections Conference (UKCCC) - provided a forum for serious debate about the key issues and challenges that have dominated the year and will continue to exercise our minds and judgment in the months ahead. To sum up 2015, we have identified the five key developments that will shape debt collection practices in 2016 and beyond.

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22-12-2015

CSA festive opening times

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year from all the team at CSA.

Head office opening times during the festive period:

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17-12-2015

Blog: What’s next for utility, telecoms and Local Authority debt collection?

Recent news from water industry regulator Ofwat that the cost of unpaid water bills has hit £2.2bn has led to pressure on water firms to do more to collect debt from consumers who are able to pay and deal more effectively with vulnerable consumers who are not.

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08-12-2015

Blog: Opening new doors: The future of customer service-led doorstep debt collection

Doorstep debt collection has long divided opinion. Clients have often struggled with the concept of collecting money on the doorstep, despite its proven success as one part of a wider collections strategy. Public perception of bailiffs and the new challenges of compliance, have combined to make it too ‘high risk’ for many creditors, despite the fact that it has been proven to be an effective collection strategy with positive customer outcomes. 

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03-12-2015

Industry close to agreement on postal discount scheme

Critiqom, a specialist in critical communications, has teamed up with the Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection industry to agree a new postal discount scheme for members.

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01-12-2015

Blog: Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) in the debt collection sector in 2016 – how do we improve customer outcomes?

Credit Today’s Collections, Debt Sale & Purchase Conference 2015 (see @CreditTodayUK #cdpsconf on Twitter) took place in Manchester last month and I chaired a packed agenda on regulation, innovation and customer engagement. As a sector, we have a lot of big challenges to face when it comes to authorisation and supervision by our still relatively new regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). But looking ahead to 2016, the key message was that we want to continue working to go further than compliance to a model that is genuinely focused on customer outcomes.

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23-11-2015

CSA Level 5 Diploma - a student's view

The CSA Level 5 Diploma in Compliance Risk Management is a challenging and comprehensive qualification. At the UK Credit and Collections Conference (UKCCC) Gala Dinner Awards, Susan Bain, of Zinc Group, was recognised for her performance in the first Level 5 Exam.

Susan shares her experiences of the qualification so far, and reflects on how the qualification has contributed towards her own personal development.

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18-11-2015

CSA Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI) passes significant landmark

The Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI), a 40 questions online test  to further up-skill individuals in the debt collection industry, has passed a significant landmark.

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20-10-2015

Marginal gains - DGI data, Q2 2015

John Ricketts, Vice President of the Credit Services Association (CSA), says that the industry should be looking to learn from the concept of ‘marginal gains’.

View Article

20-10-2015

Doing more with less

Late payment continues to be an issue that plagues different types of business, but especially Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). According to figures published by Bacs in the summer, the total amount owed to both large and small UK businesses stands at c£31 billion, down from c£42 billion this time last year. The SME share of that figure totals c£27 billion, down from c£32 billion in July 2014.

View Article

04-09-2015

CSA supports members with new model contract as ‘best practice’ for client negotiations

A new ‘model contract’ that helps debt collection agencies to negotiate terms to provide greater clarity and ensure the appropriate treatment of customers remains a core principal of the relationship, has been launched by the Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection industry.

View Article

14-08-2015

Credit Services Association welcomes details of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Thematic Review into Staff Remuneration and Incentives

Leigh Berkley, CSA president, has welcomed the FCA’s publication of the detail of this key thematic review for the consumer credit industry: “CSA members are well placed to assist the FCA with this important research,” he said, adding: “Incentive schemes have changed massively over recent years, and now emphasise compliance and best practice rather than collections.  

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23-07-2015

The Financial Conduct Authority finalises rules on complaints and call charges

Consumers and firms should benefit from better complaint handling, as a result of new rules published today by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In addition, financial services firms will be unable to charge their customers premium rates when they make telephone calls to ask for assistance or to complain.

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22-07-2015

Credit industry leaders welcome approval of new apprentices in Advanced Credit Control & Debt Collection

The Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) and Credit Services Association (CSA) have welcomed the announcement that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has approved an employer bid to develop an Advanced Credit Control & Debt Collection Trailblazer Apprenticeship standard. 

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20-07-2015

Strength in numbers - DGI data, Q1 2015

John Ricketts, Vice President of the Credit Services Association (CSA), says that the collections performance of agencies working the contingent space is little short of remarkable.

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17-07-2015

Martin Wheatley to stand down as FCA chief executive

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announce that Martin Wheatley is to stand down as chief executive with effect from September 12 2015.

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02-07-2015

UK Calling – changes to telephone charging

Major changes to telephone charging come into effect across the UK today, under the banner UK Calling.

The cost of calling ‘service numbers’ – beginning 084, 087, 09 and 118 – will now be made up of two parts, so that callers can see how much they are paying and where their money is going.

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02-07-2015

CSA appoint new business liaison executive

The CSA has appointed Katherine Laird to the new position of business liaison executive. Her role will focus on attracting new members, predominantly via outbound, direct communication methods, whilst offering an increased range of services and products to existing members.

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27-05-2015

FCA recognises support of CSA in managing market issues

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection industry, has welcomed a speech by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that recognises the Association’s help in understanding and managing market issues.

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22-05-2015

The Times They Are A-changin' - DGI data, Q4 2014

Do the latest statistics from the Credit Services Association’s Data Gathering Initiative (DGI) reflect the changing make up of the debt collection industry? CSA Vice President, John Ricketts considers

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21-05-2015

CSA wins prestigious MemCom Award for Stakeholder Engagement

The Credit Services Association (CSA) has won the Stakeholder Engagement category in the 2015 MemCom Awards – for its support in steering members through the potential minefield of proposed new EU Data Protection laws.

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15-05-2015

CSA members recognised at Credit Today Awards 2015

CSA members were among the winners at the 2015 Credit Today Awards, an annual event celebrating innovation and best practice in the credit industry.

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12-05-2015

CSA confirms UK Credit and Collections Conference (UKCCC) 2015 full programme

The full programme and keynote speakers have been confirmed for the UKCCC 2015, taking place at the Hilton London Wembley on 9-10 September.

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01-04-2015

CSA Level 3 Diploma for the Debt Collection Industry certified by the CPD Certification Service

The Level 3 qualification is an industry recognised qualification that offers proof of knowledge and the skills required to function as a proficient professional within the debt collection industry. This qualification has been designed to provide the learner with a wide scope of knowledge regarding the entire Debt Collection Industry and an in-depth understanding of how legislation, industry regulations, standards and guidance embodies a framework for compliance. The learner will also explore in more detail how compliance process systems are integrated into debt recovery organisation working practices.

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26-03-2015

Statement from CSA in response to FCA Thematic Review

Following the release of the FCA Business Plan, we will continue to work closely with the regulator as it examines the conduct of agencies, and how consumer debts are collected, in line with the rules published in CONC.

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25-03-2015

CSA poll reveals authorisation process biggest business concern for 44% of firms

According to a poll taken at the 2015 Credit Services Association (CSA) Members’ Meeting, getting through the authorisation process was cited by 44 percent of firms as their biggest business concern.

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25-03-2015

DCAs yet to be convinced of fairness of Fair Share contribution

Debt Collection Agencies (DCAs) appear yet to be convinced as to the merits of the ‘Fair Share’ contribution propounded by the advice sector, according to a poll taken at this year’s Members’ Meeting of the Credit Services Association (CSA).

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20-01-2015

CSA Members and customers warned of fraudulent activity

CSA Members and customers are being advised to be vigilant regarding potential scammers posing as legitimate financial firms.

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19-01-2015

Monitoring and enforcement of principles to reduce harm caused to consumers by silent and abandoned calls

Ofcom has published a non-confidential version of the notification issued to Green Deal Savings Limited on 1 December 2014 under section 130 of the Communications Act 2003.

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18-12-2014

CSA head office festive period opening hours

CSA head office will be operating under limited opening hours during the festive period.

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18-11-2014

CSA attending the Collections Debt Sale & Purchase Conference 2014

The Credit Services Association will be exhibiting at Credit Today's Collections Debt Sale & Purchase Conference 2014 this Thursday, 20 November 2014.

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17-11-2014

Phillips & Cohen Associates UK join Dementia Action Alliance

Phillips & Cohen Associates (UK), Ltd, the multiple award winning, specialist compassionate recovery business, is delighted to announce joining the Manchester Dementia Action Alliance.

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13-11-2014

CSA benchmarks best practice at Trade Association Forum’s Conference

The Credit Services Association (CSA) recently attended the Trade Association Forum’s Best Practice annual conference on 6 November in London. It has attended the Forum’s annual conference twice since joining last year and this year it was especially encouraging to learn that its approach to a large majority of its efforts in lobbying, member management and member engagement to name a few, are following best practice as suggested by what is effectively a trade body for trade bodies!

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03-11-2014

Burlington Group becomes FCA’s first authorised debt collection ‘principal’

The Financial Conduct Authority has today named Burlington Group as the first debt collection firm to be authorised as a principal business. Authorisation as a principal means that Burlington will be able to engage Appointed Representatives to carry out regulated debt collection activities under the supervision of the firm.

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21-10-2014

SRA proposes law firms carrying on consumer credit activities seek FCA authorisation

On 14 October 2014, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published a consultation paper on withdrawing from the FCA's designated professional bodies (DPB) regime under Part 20 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) for the purposes of consumer credit activities.

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16-10-2014

CSA Relaunches Level 3 Diploma to Reflect Important Regulation Changes

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK collections industry, is to re-launch its benchmark Level 3 Diploma to reflect key changes within the industry and the new regulatory regime. The new course has been re-approved by Ofqual and learners are now invited to register for the Level 3 Diploma, which will start at the beginning of next year.

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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.

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19-09-2014

Customers of three debt management firms should stop making payments

Debt management customers of Gregson and Brooke Financial Services (trading as Expert Money Solutions), One Tick (trading as Debt Savers Direct and 1-Tick) and the Money Management Service should stop making payments to these firms.

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29-08-2014

CSA Members reminded to be vigilant of potential scams

CSA Members are being reminded to be vigilant of potential scammers and fraudulent companies/individuals. 

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15-08-2014

FCA Positive Compliance workshops - 2015 dates now available

The FCA are pleased to announce that the 2015 programme of Positive Compliance workshops are now open for registration. These sessions will focus on RDR and Centralised Investment Propositions/Replacement Business.

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16-07-2014

Payday loans cap proposed

Proposals for a cap on what payday lenders can charge customers have been announced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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25-06-2014

CSA response to FCA statement regarding Wonga and unfair debt collection practices

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the trade body that represents more than 90% of the debt collection industry, has welcomed the move by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to order the payday lender Wonga to pay out £2.6m in compensation to customers who had received ‘fake’ legal letters.

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19-06-2014

CSA Announces High Profile Speakers for Annual Conference

Keynote speakers at this year’s CSA Annual Exhibition and Conference have been confirmed as Steph McGovern, the Breakfast business presenter, and Susan de Mont, Director of Credit Authorisations at FCA.

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30-05-2014

Lord Chandos appointed as independent director

The CSA has appointed Lord Chandos of Aldershot as an independent director to bring additional rigour to the governance of the Association, and impartial guidance and expertise to the chief executive officer and members of the Board.

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28-05-2014

Important information for debt management customers of Debt Help & Advice Ltd, First Step Finance Ltd or Primary Business Solutions Ltd

Important information for debt management customers of Debt Help & Advice Ltd, First Step Finance Ltd or Primary Business Solutions Ltd.

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27-05-2014

Anthony Townsend to be new FCA complaints commissioner

The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have announced the appointment of Antony Townsend as complaints commissioner.

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22-05-2014

CSA nominated for Trade Association of the Year award

The CSA has been nominated for Trade Association of the Year at the Trade Association Forum’s Best Practice Awards 2014. The annual event recognises, rewards and promotes best practice amongst Trade Associations in the UK.

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01-05-2014

CSA wins MemCom award

The Credit Services Association’s Journey to the FCA campaign has been named the Best PR Campaign category in the 2014 MemCom Awards.

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CSA Press Releases

24-07-2017

CSA agrees discount with Royal Mail as part of new Test & Innovate Scheme

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase sectors, has secured an agreement with Royal Mail to bring the Test & Innovate Scheme (TIS) to the collections industry. 

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24-07-2017

CSA appoints new Coordinator to support members in exploiting the Apprenticeship Levy

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industry, has appointed Arran Hope as its Apprenticeship Coordinator. 

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17-07-2017

The CSA’s UKCCC named Conference of the Year

The UK Credit & Collections Conference (UKCCC), the Credit Services Association's 2016 flagship event, has been named Conference of the Year by the Trade Association Forum (TAF) in its Best Practice Awards 2017.

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11-07-2017

CSA introduces revised Code of Practice at House of Commons launch event

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industry, has revised and relaunched its Code of Practice to incorporate new Principles of Business. 

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23-06-2017

CSA introduces revised Code of Practice to reflect FCA's regulatory framework

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase sectors, has revised its Code of Practice to incorporate new Principles of Business. 

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13-06-2017

The CSA’s UKCCC shortlisted as Conference of the Year

The UK Credit & Collections Conference (UKCCC), the Credit Services Association's 2016 flagship event, has been shortlisted for Conference of the Year by the Trade Association Forum (TAF) in its Best Practice Awards 2017.

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30-05-2017

CSA confirms new portfolio appointments

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors, has confirmed the appointment of its new Board and their respective portfolios.

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09-02-2017

CSA appoints new President and confirms new Board

John Ricketts has succeeded Leigh Berkley as President of the Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors. His appointment was confirmed at the CSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Leicester on 7 February 2017.

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06-02-2017

CSA dismisses IFS report as an unfair portrayal of new Apprenticeship Levy

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and debt purchase sectors, also disagrees with the IFS claim that increasing the number of apprentices ‘could sacrifice quality for quantity’.

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09-12-2016

Update on the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims (PAP)

Joint statement by the Credit Services Association and the Civil Court Users Association

Further to yesterday’s update, the CPRC meeting was held this morning.  The meeting was attended by Leigh Berkley and Rob Thompson as industry representatives, and by the Master of the Rolls.  

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17-11-2016

Consumers should not bury their heads in the sand over debt

To coincide with the first ever Financial Capability Week, the Credit Services Association (CSA) has issued some simple guidance around debt, and particularly how to avoid becoming a case of ‘mistaken identity’ and how to resolve the matter should it occur.

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02-08-2016

CSA creates further opportunity for dialogue with creditors to improve the customer experience

The Credit Services Association has called for even greater collaboration between creditors and the debt management companies and highlighted the growing role that debt purchasers are playing as pseudo ‘creditors’ in improving the customer relationship.

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01-08-2016

CSA welcomes new Standard Financial Statement but urges a designated savings account

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industries, has broadly welcomed the launch of the new Standard Financial Statement to help create a clearer picture of an individual’s financial position and enable a fairer, faster resolution for resolving customer debts.

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01-08-2016

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.

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14-06-2016

CSA urges FCA to reconsider proposals on fee increases

Proposals by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to increase the variable fee paid by authorised debt collection firms could have ‘unintended consequences’ for smaller agencies, according to the Credit Services Association (CSA), the body that represents the debt collection and purchase industry.

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07-06-2016

CSA appoints new General Counsel

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection and purchase industries, has appointed Angela McClean as its new General Counsel. 

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28-04-2016

Blog: Are you Mailmark ready?

Royal Mail’s new Mailmark barcode technology brings mail and business information together, providing organisations who mail out high volumes (millions of letters) with powerful analytics on exactly what happens to each letter from the moment it leaves them to the moment it arrives at the recipient’s door, and beyond.

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24-03-2016

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.

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03-03-2016

CSA voices support to Money Advice Scotland as consultation closes on new Plan

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the representative body of the UK debt collections and debt purchase industry, has voiced its support for Money Advice Scotland in the charity’s response to the consultation on the Money Advice Service Business Plan 2016/17.

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09-02-2016

CSA leadership confirmed for 2016

Members at the Credit Services Association (CSA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) voted unanimously to retain Leigh Berkley and John Ricketts as President and Vice President respectively of the Association for another 12 months. Nick Cherry, Managing Director of Phillips & Cohen Associates International, has also been re-elected to the Board for another three-year term.

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02-02-2016

CSA to set out important principles at annual meeting

Two important documents are to be launched by the Credit Services Association (CSA) this week tackling the major issue of the withdrawal of paying accounts and offering key guidance and high-level principles of outsourcing in the credit industry.

View Article

06-01-2016

CSA urges final response to PAP Consultation

The Credit Services Association (CSA) is urging its members to engage with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) as the deadline to the MoJ’s consultation on Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) comes to a close on January 11.

View Article

03-12-2015

Industry close to agreement on postal discount scheme

Critiqom, a specialist in critical communications, has teamed up with the Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection industry to agree a new postal discount scheme for members.

View Article

18-11-2015

CSA Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI) passes significant landmark

The Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI), a 40 questions online test  to further up-skill individuals in the debt collection industry, has passed a significant landmark.

View Article

20-10-2015

Marginal gains - DGI data, Q2 2015

John Ricketts, Vice President of the Credit Services Association (CSA), says that the industry should be looking to learn from the concept of ‘marginal gains’.

View Article

20-10-2015

Doing more with less

Late payment continues to be an issue that plagues different types of business, but especially Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). According to figures published by Bacs in the summer, the total amount owed to both large and small UK businesses stands at c£31 billion, down from c£42 billion this time last year. The SME share of that figure totals c£27 billion, down from c£32 billion in July 2014.

View Article

04-09-2015

CSA supports members with new model contract as ‘best practice’ for client negotiations

A new ‘model contract’ that helps debt collection agencies to negotiate terms to provide greater clarity and ensure the appropriate treatment of customers remains a core principal of the relationship, has been launched by the Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection industry.

View Article

14-08-2015

Credit Services Association welcomes details of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Thematic Review into Staff Remuneration and Incentives

Leigh Berkley, CSA president, has welcomed the FCA’s publication of the detail of this key thematic review for the consumer credit industry: “CSA members are well placed to assist the FCA with this important research,” he said, adding: “Incentive schemes have changed massively over recent years, and now emphasise compliance and best practice rather than collections.  

View Article

22-07-2015

Credit industry leaders welcome approval of new apprentices in Advanced Credit Control & Debt Collection

The Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) and Credit Services Association (CSA) have welcomed the announcement that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has approved an employer bid to develop an Advanced Credit Control & Debt Collection Trailblazer Apprenticeship standard. 

View Article

20-07-2015

Strength in numbers - DGI data, Q1 2015

John Ricketts, Vice President of the Credit Services Association (CSA), says that the collections performance of agencies working the contingent space is little short of remarkable.

View Article

27-05-2015

FCA recognises support of CSA in managing market issues

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK debt collection industry, has welcomed a speech by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that recognises the Association’s help in understanding and managing market issues.

View Article

22-05-2015

The Times They Are A-changin' - DGI data, Q4 2014

Do the latest statistics from the Credit Services Association’s Data Gathering Initiative (DGI) reflect the changing make up of the debt collection industry? CSA Vice President, John Ricketts considers

View Article

21-05-2015

CSA wins prestigious MemCom Award for Stakeholder Engagement

The Credit Services Association (CSA) has won the Stakeholder Engagement category in the 2015 MemCom Awards – for its support in steering members through the potential minefield of proposed new EU Data Protection laws.

View Article

12-05-2015

CSA confirms UK Credit and Collections Conference (UKCCC) 2015 full programme

The full programme and keynote speakers have been confirmed for the UKCCC 2015, taking place at the Hilton London Wembley on 9-10 September.

View Article

25-03-2015

DCAs yet to be convinced of fairness of Fair Share contribution

Debt Collection Agencies (DCAs) appear yet to be convinced as to the merits of the ‘Fair Share’ contribution propounded by the advice sector, according to a poll taken at this year’s Members’ Meeting of the Credit Services Association (CSA).

View Article

16-10-2014

CSA Relaunches Level 3 Diploma to Reflect Important Regulation Changes

The Credit Services Association (CSA), the voice of the UK collections industry, is to re-launch its benchmark Level 3 Diploma to reflect key changes within the industry and the new regulatory regime. The new course has been re-approved by Ofqual and learners are now invited to register for the Level 3 Diploma, which will start at the beginning of next year.

View Article

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.

View Article
 

Senior Managers & Certification Regime: risk culture, accountability and what it will mean for higher management roles

12 September 2017

Dr Roger Miles researches behavioural risk and the impacts of conduct regulation.

Conduct Risk Management sees beyond econometric and other 'box-ticking' traditions of risk management. Whilst protecting senior managers, it helps all staff to make positive use of conduct risk to promote behaviour the regulator will accept as 'good', as good behaviour is good business. 

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A-Level Results 2017: Why you should consider a career in debt collection

18 August 2017

Fiona Macaskill is the Credit Services Association’s Head of Learning & Development. 

A-Level Results Day is always full of mixed emotions but whether you have got top grades or not done quite as well as expected, there are now more potential learning and career pathways than ever for school leavers.

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Ofwat's 'unlocking the value in customer data' report for water companies

10 August 2017

Claire Aynsley is Head of Regulatory Compliance and Standards at the Credit Services Association. 

Last month I attended the launch of water industry regulator Ofwat’s report on ‘unlocking the value in customer data’. With the recent introduction of the ‘open water’ market, it’s certainly an interesting time in the sector and data sharing is top of the agenda with the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now less than 12 months away.

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FCA Mission 2017/18: Setting the tone for consumer credit firms' culture

10 August 2017

Charley Taggart is a CSA Board Director and General Counsel at Cabot Credit Management.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its Mission and Business Plan for 2017/18 following consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. The ‘headline’ for the national media was a ‘considerable focus’ on personal debt beyond just specific areas such as payday lending, which has already been capped (see BBC news article here).
 
 

How fintech can support people with mental health problems - and what the collections sector needs to do

2 August 2017

Nick Cherry is Chief Operating Officer at Phillips & Cohen Associates, the UK’s only dedicated deceased account management business, and Vice President of the CSA.

As we know, the link between debt and mental health is significant. The recently publishedvulnerability guide for debt collection cited that one in two consumers with a debt problem also has a mental health problem. As members of the credit industry we are already engaging with this agenda and the people affected, so we should be using every tool available to us to address the problem.

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Good practice creditor toolkit on working collaboartively with debt advice agencies

25 July 2017

Leigh Berkley is former President and current Board Director of the Credit Services Association (CSA), Board Director of the Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG), Vice President of the Federation of European National Collection Associations (FENCA) and Director of External Affairs & Development at Arrow Global.

On 5 July 2017, the Money Advice Service (MAS) launched its new good practice creditor toolkit on working collaboratively with debt advice agencies. Having been involved in its development through various workshops, the Debt Advisory Operations Group (DAOG) and providing a case study on how Arrow Global works with a range of debt advice agencies for the toolkit, I was pleased to be asked to help launch it on behalf of the creditor community.

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Introducing the new updated CSA Code of Practice for the debt collection and purchase industry

17 July 2017

A qualified solicitor, Sara de Tute has over 10 years’ experience as a Legal & Compliance Director within the debt collection sector. She is a member and former president of the Credit Services Association’s (CSA) Board of Directors and launched the new version of its Code of Practice at an event at the House of Commons on 5 July 2017.

The Credit Service Association’s (CSA) Code of Practice has been through a great deal of transformation since it was first introduced in 1985 (and certainly since the association was launched in 1906). 

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Why lifelong learning is the future of financial services

4 July 2017

Fiona Macaskill is the Credit Services Association’s Head of Learning & Development and was instrumental in gaining Main Provider Status for the CSA on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) to deliver apprenticeship training to employers.

Last month (19-25 June 2017) was the Festival of Learning (previously Adult Learners Week), which marks the biggest celebration of lifelong learning in England.

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'Persistent misuse': insight into Ofcom’s revised Statement of Policy

16 May 2017

Eric Bash, Principal of Ofcom’s Consumer Group, spoke at the Credit Services Association’s Annual Members’ Meeting earlier this year about Ofcom’s revised statement of policy on ‘persistent misuse’.

The Communications Act 2003 empowers Ofcom to take action against those engaged in ‘persistent misuse’ of an electronic communications network or service. Misuse is defined as use of a network causing, or being likely to cause, annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety to consumers. Persistent means this kind of misuse being repeated enough to represent a pattern of behaviour or practice or recklessness about whether others suffer relevant harm.

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Challenging times: Preparing for Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims

12 May 2017

Leigh Berkley is former President and current Board Director of the Credit Services Association (CSA) and Director of External Affairs & Development at Arrow Global.

Publication of the Pre-action Protocol for debt claims (PAP) in March finally closed a long-running saga that had more potential endings than a Hollywood whodunit. In the end, there was indeed a final plot twist, but primarily in the timing, for the Protocol is to come into effect in October 2017, leaving creditors and claimants with little time to prepare.

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Hot topics in digital debt collection

4 May 2017

Stuart Sykes is Director at Secure Recoveries Ltd and is also now a Credit Services Association Board Director.

I attended the Digital Banking Club’s Collections Debate at the Law Society offices in Chancery Lane as part of Credit Week last month. There was a cross section of credit and customer engagement professionals in the room, from IT staff to C Suite execs from some large financial services and utilities institutions, which made for an interesting and engaging session on some of the hot topics in digital debt collection.

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Credit Week: How we're working on behalf of the credit industry to influence policy for the mutual benefit of firms and customers

28 March 2017

Peter Wallwork is CEO of the Credit Services Association. 

As the UK trade association for the debt collection sector, we make it our business to engage with regulators, government, international bodies (such as FENCA), researchers, policy makers and other key stakeholders to be the voice of the industry on key issues.New vulnerability guide for debt collection: 21 questions, 21 steps for both customer and staff wellbeing

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New vulnerability guide for debt collection: 21 questions, 21 steps for both customer and staff

27 March 2017

John Ricketts is President of the Credit Services Association. 

The University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre has published a new guide on vulnerability and debt collection which addresses 21 questions raised by dealing with vulnerable customers and 21 steps to take to improve practice. 

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ITV Tonight programme on problem debt: Debt collection agencies can help too

23 March 2017

Claire Aynsley is Head of Regulatory and Compliance Standards at the Credit Services Association.

Last week’s ITV Tonight programme ‘Buy Today, Pay Tomorrow’ looked at the more than two and a half million Britons in serious debt, only half of which are getting help. Consumer Action Group, StepChange and Payplan were mentioned as sources of support with the recognition that there is still a stigma attached to admitting being in debt and that many are simply ignoring the problem.

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Cabinet Office Fairness Meeting: The Standard Financial Statement and debt collection

13 March 2017

Peter Wallwork is chief executive of the Credit Services Association, the UK trade body for the debt collection sector.

I attended a Fairness Meeting at the Cabinet Office last month where I was asked to be part of a panel along with Citizens Advice and Computershare on how the new Standard Financial Statement (SFS) fits in to debt collection. 

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National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week 2017: championing careers in debt collection

7 March 2017

Fiona Macaskill is the Head of Learning & Development at the Credit Services Association

This week is both National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week 2017. During last year’s National Apprenticeship Week, I wrote a blog entitled ‘Ever thought about a career in debt collection?’ It looked ahead to the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 as an opportunity for the debt collection sector to give young people and others looking for a career change, an opportunity to consider a career in a sector that has traditionally not been seen as a ‘dream job’.

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The Apprenticeship Levy - which 'camp' do you sit in?

21 February 2017

Mike Thompson is Director of Early Careers, Chair of the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group for Financial Services and a member of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board.

Ahead of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April, we invited Mike Thompson of Barclays to deliver a presentation at the recent CSA Members' Meeting outlining how businesses can benefit and make the most of this new initiative.

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Three new legislative requirements credit and collection firms should prepare for in 2017

13 February 2017

Peter Wallwork, CEO of the Credit Services Association (CSA), recently wrote a guest blog for electronic document distribution specialist Netsend, looking at three new legislative requirements credit and collection firms should prepare for in 2017.

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The next generation of customer service in 2017 – how does the debt collection sector need to adapt?

10 January 2017

Jo Causon is Chief Executive of the Institute of Customer Service.

In the debt collection sector – as in any area of the economy - customer engagement is vital. Customers are increasingly seeking empathetic experiences and, if this is absent, evidence suggests that the chance of success is greatly reduced.

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2016: The year the debt collection sector came of age

22 December 2016

Peter Wallwork is chief executive of the Credit Services Association, the UK trade body for the debt collection sector.

2016, despite its many challenges, seems to be the year that the debt collection sector has ‘come of age’ in terms of how central the customer journey has become to the culture of our businesses and, whether FCA regulated or not, standards of compliance and customer treatment have continued to improve significantly, for which we can all be proud. 

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Autumn Statement 2016: How can the debt collection sector prepare for anticipated increase in debt problems for the 'just about managing' in 2017'?

6 December 2016

Peter Wallwork is chief executive of th Credit Services Association, the UK trade body for the debt collection sector.

Despite attempts to support those that are ‘just about managing’ (JAMs),  the Money Advice Trust’s Joanna Elson is predicting a “significant increase in debt problems in the year ahead".

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Financial Capability Week 2016: Working together to encourage young people to look beyond the short-term impact of problem debt during #FinCapWeek

18 November 216

Yvonne MacDermid is Chief Executive of Money Advice Scotland and Consumer Non-Executive Director on the Credit Services Association's Board.

In August 2016, the Money Advice Trust published a report called ‘Borrowed Years: A spotlight briefing on young people, credit and debt’. It highlighted widespread money worries being experienced by 18-24 year olds and the fact that many young people are now beginning to build up debts as soon as they turn 18.Financial Capability Week 2016 #FinCapWeek: One small step consumers can take to avoid unknown debts.

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Financial Capability Week 2016 #FinCapWeek: One small step consumers can take to avoid unknown debts

14 November 216

Claire Aynsley is Head of Regulatory Compliance and Standards at the CSA.

With 40% of adults saying that they are not in control of their finances, financial capability couldn’t be higher on the agenda in 2016. We therefore welcome the Money Advice Service’s launch of the first ever Financial Capability Week #FinCapWeek, which is taking place this month (14-20 November 2016) to bring organisations together to discuss what we can do to make positive change.

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Making progress on vulnerable customers in debt collection - does it require a change in the law?

26 October 2016

John Ricketts is Vice President (soon to be President) of the Credit Services Association.

“Too much game planning and not enough action” was the accusation levelled at experts on the vulnerability, mental health and debt collection panel at the UK Credit and Collections Conference #ukccc last month by the event host, journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil.

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Debt-to-income ratio and financial distress - what the debt collection sector can do

21 October 2016

Leigh Berkley is President of the Credit Services Association (CSA) and Director of External Affairs & Development at Arrow Global.

In August, I attended the launch of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) latest Occasional Paper which asks the question: ‘Can we predict which consumer credit users will suffer financial distress?’ This has been published as part of the FCA’s investigations into approaches to assessing creditworthiness in the consumer credit market with a view to amending current guidance.

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Daily Mail article response: Abuse of CCJs? Litigation is a last resort in debt recovery

23 September 2016

Peter Wallwork is the CEO of the Credit Services Association, the UK trade body for the debt collection sector.

Last week (12 September 2016), the Daily Mail ran an article entitled ‘Lives ruined for the sake of a penny’. It was about an investigation into the use and possible abuse of County Court Judgements (CCJs) in which some of our debt collection agency members were mentioned.

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Moving beyond money: the Financial Wellness of UK households

14 September 2016

Sharon Collard, Professor of Personal Finance and Research Director at the University of Bristol's Personal Finance Research Centre

Jamie Evans, Research Associate at the University of Bristol's Personal Finance Research Centre

It’s safe to say that money is a big part of our day-to-day lives.

Whether we’re earning it, spending it, or simply wishing we had more of it, money is something we spend a lot of time thinking about.

This is even more true for the research team at the Personal Finance Research Centre! We specialise in social research across all areas of personal finance – so, naturally, money issues are often at the forefront of our minds.

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The Standards of Lending Practice: Putting the customer first

13 September 2016

David Pickering, Compliance Director and soon to be interim Chief Executive (from 1 October 2016) of the Lending Standards Boards’ adherence to the Standards of Lending Practice.

The Lending Standards Board (LSB) and the wider industry had grown accustomed to the structure of the Lending Code, with its focus on detailed provisions and because of the value it added to financial services firms before the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced the Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC). Professor Russel Griggs’ independent report on the Lending Code last year, while highlighting its positive aspects, concluded that change was necessary if a Code was to have relevance when co-existing alongside the statutory regime.

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Financial services and vulnerability: From principles and panels, into practice and change

8 September 2016

Chris Fitch, Research Fellow at Bristol University 

A few weeks ago, I heard a young woman save someone’s life. She wasn’t a counsellor. She wasn’t a paramedic. She wasn’t a doctor. She worked in debt collection. The actions she took stopped an extremely distressed customer from taking their life.

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How the energy sector is addressing vulnerability, debt and fuel poverty

31 August 2016

Audrey Gallacher, Director of Retail Energy Supply at Energy UK

When it comes to debt and vulnerability, the consumer is at the heart of the energy industry. Through regulation, voluntary initiatives and a range of industry-led schemes to reduce fuel poverty, energy suppliers take their obligations to their customers very seriously. 

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How can financial services firms encourage customers to report financial abuse?

24 August 2016

Alistair Chisholm, Creditor Liaison Policy Officer for Citizens Advice

In April 2016, we published ‘A framework to help banks, other creditors and advice providers challenge financial abuse in intimate partner relationships’. This report was co-branded with the British Bankers Association, and the launch was supported by Karen Bradley MP, who spoke in her capacity as the (then) Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime. One reason the report is needed is that many people are not aware that domestic abuse can be financial as well as physical. 

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Tackling the ‘double stigma’ of debt and mental health

12 August 2016

Polly Mackenzie, Director of the Money and mental Health Policy Insitute

It’s well known that there’s a stigma surrounding mental health problems. A huge amount of work has been done to challenge this stigma like the Time to Change initiative run by Mind and Rethink, and efforts by Princes William and Harry through their Headspace campaign. But I think most of us acknowledge that there’s still a lot more work to do. Considering that one in four of us will experience a mental health condition every year, we need to get more comfortable discussing these conditions, and being open about the ups and downs of our emotional lives.

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Raising standards for debt collection ‘tracing’ activity

8 August 2016

Claire Aynsley, CSA Head of Regulatory Compliance and Standards

Tracing is an activity carried out in order to locate the whereabouts of an individual, where it has been determined that they have moved on. In our sector, tracing is carried out to locate a new address for a customer in order to re-engage with them or reconnect them with their creditors. Tracing is also used to locate individuals who are beneficiaries to a windfall or locating missing relatives.

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Finding a 'win-win' for all those involved in debt collection

28 July 2016

Damian Hughes, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change

What can the debt collection sector learn from the world of sport? Perhaps more than you would think. The future of debt collection depends on creditors, collectors and customers working together for a common good. Leadership and culture are undeniably central to this. 

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Bringing clarity to debt collection for customers: a debt adviser's perspective

20 July 2016

Sara Williams, Debt Camel

Debt advice tends to focus on people who can't afford to pay their debts. Debt collection has the extra problem of distinguishing between "can't pays" and "won't pays". But many customers with old utility and mobile debts don't fit into either of these categories, because they didn't know the debt existed. 

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Are debt buyers the new creditors?

7 July 2016

Leigh Berkley, CSA President, CSA Head of Regulatory Compliance and Standards

I recently spoke at the Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) Conference to share best practice with the debt management sector on how we in the debt collection sector are improving consumer, regulator and stakeholder engagement.

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Bringing to life the complexity of assisting vulnerable customers who are in financial difficulty

21 June 2016

Claire Aynsley, CSA Head of Regulatory Compliance and Standards

Assisting vulnerable customers is top of the agenda for the debt collection sector and therefore has been a key topic for any major industry event in recent years. However, as with most things in life, the theory and the practice can be very different.

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‘Money on your mind’: bringing together creditors and debt collection professionals on prevention of financial difficulty for those with mental health issues

13 June 2016

Claire Aynsley, CSA Head of Regulatory Compliance and Standards

This morning, the MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis-backed Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) has published its new ground-breaking report on money and mental health: ‘Money on your mind.’ This is something the Credit Services Association, the UK trade body for the debt collection and debt purchase sector which deals directly with customers who are in financial difficulty, has been involved in from its inception. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a roundtable hosted by MMHPI back in April where we discussed how we can identify ‘crisis spending’ amongst customers with mental health issues.

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Is a Debt Collection Agency the same as a Debt Management Company?

3 June 2016

Peter Wallwork, CSA CEO

Following the recent collapse of Debt Management Company (DMC), Compass Debt Counsellors, there has been widespread criticism of the fee-charging ‘debt settlement’ model which sees customers’ repayments being held in a ‘savings pot’ in order to agree a one-off settlement figure for the debt, rather than being paid to creditors gradually. 

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What is financial abuse and how can the debt collection sector challenge it?

12 May 2016

Sara de Tute, CSA Board Director

Last month, I attended an event hosted by Citizens Advice to launch their recently published ‘Addressing Financial Abuse’ report. The report provides banks, other creditors and advice providers with a framework for helping to stand up to financial control by intimate partners.

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What does digital debt collection mean for customer engagement?

29 April 2016

Colleen Magee, CSA Head of Sales, Marketing and Events

At the Credit Summit 2016 earlier this month, one of the key topics discussed was digital technology and innovation in debt collection. This is a complex area that can often seem at odds with the ‘customer engagement’ agenda, which focuses on understanding and interacting with customers to achieve the best possible outcome based on their specific needs.

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Are you Mailmark ready?

28 April 2016

John Ricketts, CSA Vice President

Royal Mail’s new Mailmark barcode technology brings mail and business information together, providing organisations who mail out high volumes (millions of letters) with powerful analytics on exactly what happens to each letter from the moment it leaves them to the moment it arrives at the recipient’s door, and beyond.

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Seizing the initiative

12 April 2016

David Sheridan, CSA Board Director

There has been a considerable amount of noise recently around the issue of Apprenticeships, and deservedly so. Something that was once the preserve of industries coaching young men and women to master a particular ‘trade’ or ‘craft’ has long since evolved into schemes that are more comprehensive and inclusive, and embracing the professions. 

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Subscription traps: The responsible way to use Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs)

1 April 2016

Daniel Spenceley, CSA Compliance Manager

Citizens Advice’s recent report on ‘subscription traps’ highlighted worrying issues with poor use of Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs) by online retailers like Amazon, who came under fire last year for its Amazon Prime ‘trial’, which saw customers unknowingly tied into annual payments.

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National Apprenticeships Week 2016: Ever thought about a career in debt collections?

17 March 2016

Fiona Macaskill, CSA Head of Learning & Development

We’re sure if you asked most young people if they’ve ever considered a career in debt collection, it won’t be something that has crossed their mind.

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How can the debt collection sector better support customers with mental health issues?

16 March 2016

Peter Wallwork, CSA CEO

Last week saw the launch of MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis’ new Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, which has been set up to research and find solutions to the worrying link between mental health and money problems. 

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What will the new EU Data Protection Regulation mean for the Euro-consumer when it comes to debt collection?

10 March 2016

Leigh Berkley, CSA President

The final version of new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to be published by the European Parliament this summer.  The Credit Services Association (CSA) is working with our Members to ensure that they are ready for the changes that will come into force mid-2018, and are aware of the impact on the customers they deal with. The purpose of the new regulation is to give consumers more control over their data, but as we have highlighted through work done over the past few years, there may be unintended consequences for consumers. We are therefore working with various stakeholders on refining the details of the regulation before it is finalised.

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A brighter future for debt collection in the mobile phones sector?

24 February 2016

Sara de Tute, CSA Board Director

Last month (January 2016), Citizens Advice published a report called ‘Falling Behind: an assessment of debt collection practices in the mobile phone market.’ It referred to ‘cumbersome, inadequate debt collection processes which act as a barrier to attempts by customers and their advisers to resolve debt problems’ including issues with poor communication and dispute handling. There are now calls by Citizens Advice for action to be taken to improve practices in-line with other sectors such as water and energy, where big improvements have been made in recent years.

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How can we improve fairness in government debt collection?

16 February 2016

Claire Aynsley, CSA Head of Regulatory Compliance and Compliance Standards

Last month, Citizens Advice published a report on fairness in government debt collection after it emerged that the number of related issues they were dealing with had doubled between 2005/6 and 2014/15. The report highlighted issues such as there being no consistent approach to assessing affordability and poor communication and practice that was leaving vulnerable customers in even worse financial difficulty. Now, money saving expert Martin Lewis and debt charity StepChange are calling on the government to give all people struggling with temporary debt ‘breathing space’ so that they can pay for essentials like food.

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How customer-centric Learning & Development is changing the culture of the debt collection sector

9 February 2016

Fiona Macaskill, CSA Head of Learning & Development

As the UK’s trade body for the debt collection sector, our role is to ensure that member companies and the wider industry uphold the highest professional standards. A key part of this is delivering up-to-the-minute learning and development programmes that embed the right culture into the organisation for long term impact.

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We're supporting StepChange's National #DebtDay to raise awareness of free debt help

18 January 2016

Peter Wallwork, CSA CEO

Today (18 January 2016) is predicted to be debt charity StepChange’s busiest day of the year with 20,000 people seeking advice on £50m+ worth of debt. However, recent research has shown that many still don’t know where to turn for debt help.

 

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The debt collection sector’s five most important developments of 2015

30 December 2015

Peter Wallwork, CSA CEO

2015 has been a year of significant progress and achievement for our industry and much has been achieved in a landscape for debt collection that has changed irrevocably.

Our new-styled annual event - the UK Credit and Collections Conference (UKCCC) - provided a forum for serious debate about the key issues and challenges that have dominated the year and will continue to exercise our minds and judgment in the months ahead. To sum up 2015, we have identified the five key developments that will shape debt collection practices in 2016 and beyond.

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What’s next for utility, telecoms and Local Authority debt collection?

17 December 2015

Tom Somerville, Operations Director at CSA member company Orbit Collections Group

The debt collection sector’s move from being overseen by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to being regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has created a ‘black hole’ that has become mistakenly referred to as ‘unregulated debt’. For those who don’t know, the FCA’s remit only covers those involved in the collection of financial services debt (debt relating to the Consumer Credit Act). This means that agencies like Orbit Collections who specialise in collecting debt that was generated outside of the financial services world, are precluded from FCA regulation and unable to apply for authorisation.

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Opening new doors: The future of customer service-led doorstep debt collection

8 December 2015

John Ricketts, CSA Vice President

Doorstep debt collection has long divided opinion. Clients have often struggled with the concept of collecting money on the doorstep, despite its proven success as one part of a wider collections strategy. Public perception of bailiffs and the new challenges of compliance, have combined to make it too ‘high risk’ for many creditors, despite the fact that it has been proven to be an effective collection strategy with positive customer outcomes.

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Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) in the debt collection sector in 2016 – how do we improve customer outcomes?

1 December 2015

Leigh Berkley, CSA President

Credit Today’s Collections, Debt Sale & Purchase Conference 2015 took place in Manchester last month and I chaired a packed agenda on regulation, innovation and customer engagement. As a sector, we have a lot of big challenges to face when it comes to authorisation and supervision by our still relatively new regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). But looking ahead to 2016, the key message was that we want to continue working to go further than compliance to a model that is genuinely focused on customer outcomes.

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