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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 eight weeks to respond directly to the complainant
  • CSA get a copy of the response from the member company
  • CSA considers both positions and determines whether the Code of Practice has been breached
  • Appropriate action is taken (if required) to remedy the situation
  • If further information is required the CSA contact the relevant party (the complainant or the member company).
  • After a full review, the CSA provides a formal response to the complainant


If you remain unhappy with the outcome of the complaint, you may have justification to escalate the matter to our our head of compliance, Claire Aynsley,


Please note: The CSA can only intervene when;

  • a member company is in breach of the Code.
  • the company is a member of the CSA (we cannot act when the complaint is about the client of a member company, a bank or building society for example).
  • the information supplied by a member company appears from the facts to be incorrect.

Methods of Contact



Credit Services Association

Complaints Department

2 Esh Plaza

Sir Bobby Robson Way


NE13 9BA


Why the CSA need a signed copy of your complaint




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

Sharon Collard is Professor of Personal Finance and Research Director at the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre. She will be part of the vulnerable customers panel at the Credit Services Association’s UK Credit & Collections Conference #ukccc on 15 September 2016.

Jamie Evans is a Research Associate at University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre who is currently working on a research project looking at the experiences and practices of frontline collections staff when working with vulnerable customers. Jamie is working on this project with Chris Fitch, who will also be on the conference panel (also see Chris’ recent blog on vulnerability and debt collection practices).


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.

In our research, however, it’s important for us to recognise that money is ultimately just a number. A higher income doesn’t necessarily make someone ‘better off’, while a bigger bank balance doesn’t guarantee someone’s long-term financial health. In other words, looking at one number alone rarely tells the whole story.

That’s why we think it’s crucial to consider the range of different factors that come together to affect someone’s financial situation. It’s also why we were delighted when financial services provider Momentum UK asked us to measure the ‘Financial Wellness’ of the UK population.


Financial Wellness is about so much more than just income

Our work with Momentum led to the construction of an Index, which was made up of ten key domains of Financial Wellness. We based three of these domains on data about the national economy – GDP per capita, the unemployment rate and the Gini Coefficient of income inequality. The other seven domains focused on Financial Wellness at the household scale and were calculated using a nationally-representative survey of around 2,000 individuals. The survey covered different domains of Financial Wellness, including (but not limited to) financial confidence, satisfaction with income, problem debt and material deprivation.

We calculated a score from 0 to 10 for each domain, thereby giving an overall score out of 100 when all ten domains are combined. For the first wave of the Index, the score was 67 out of 100. This suggests that the UK population is relatively financially well on average but with significant room for improvement.

Of course, as we said before, looking at one number alone rarely tells the whole story. That’s why we’re planning to run a second wave of the Index later this year, and hopefully in subsequent years too, so we can begin to paint a picture of how the nation’s finances are changing over time.


Digging a little deeper

The beauty of the Index is that when you start to dig a little deeper from the headline figure you get to see how people are coping in the different areas of their financial lives. We can see, for example, that while the average person is currently able to avoid severe financial difficulty and generally meets their bills on time, they are much less likely to be building up savings and assets for the future.

Indeed, we found that nearly a third of the population have savings of less than £100 and a similar proportion admit they would find it hard to cope in the event of an unexpected major expense. The picture is even more worrying among certain demographic segments: young adults, the unemployed, renters and those from ethnic minority backgrounds are just a few of the groups that are significantly less financially well on average.


Understanding individual financial journeys

It is useful for researchers and policy-makers alike to be able to generalise about different parts of the population, but it is also crucial that we don’t forget the human stories which lie at the heart of everything we do.

So, when we constructed the Momentum UK Index of Financial Wellness we were eager to capture some of these stories – to hear how real people were coping financially in their day-to-day lives. To do this, we spoke to a range of people from across the country and produced case studies for each. 

The stories, of course, were all unique.

We spoke with one couple whose retirement plans had been shattered when their life-savings were stolen from their loft. We also heard from a young man about the difficulties he faced controlling his spending because of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Another woman we talked to was just about getting-by after her husband was forced off-work due to an accident the previous year.

It would be easy to make assumptions about each of these people’s financial situation if we hadn’t taken the time to understand their individual stories.

It would be easy to treat them as just another number on a spreadsheet.


Computer says no?

The financial services sector has famously been criticised for its “computer says no” approach, but we think this is certainly something that is changing.

In a separate piece of research that we’re currently working on with Chris Fitch (one of the authors of the well-known ’12 steps for treating potentially vulnerable customers fairly’ guidance), we’re exploring the experiences and practices of frontline collections staff when it comes to dealing with vulnerable customers. While we’ve still got a lot of data yet to collect and no doubt a lot of challenges still to identify, our overall impression of the industry’s efforts has been remarkably positive.

Companies are generally recognising that there’s much more to their customers than simply the debts they owe.

They’re realising it’s in everyone’s interest to do this: not only does it make sense from a human perspective, but also from a commercial one. A little empathy seems to go an awfully long way in a debt collection setting, and ultimately this can lead to more favourable – and more profitable - outcomes.

It’s easy as social researchers to lambast businesses for trying to make a profit, and to criticise from the sidelines, but this is an approach that rarely improves outcomes for those who are struggling financially or the most vulnerable members of our society. Rather, our best bet is to listen to each other and ultimately work together to address any challenges we identify.

This means that we have to start by recognising that profit-making and socially desirable outcomes are not always two mutually exclusive concepts.

Money is, and probably always will be, something that we all spend a lot of time thinking about. We just need to make sure it’s not the only thing we think about.