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Credit Services Association

2 Esh Plaza

Sir Bobby Robson Way

Great Park

Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE13 9BA


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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 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




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.

Doing more with less is a mantra that many organisations, government departments, private companies, and even individuals are used to hearing as we strive to achieve greater efficiencies and productivity with the same or often fewer resources.

Against this context, the work of debt collection agencies (DCAs) working in the contingent space is little short of remarkable, if the latest consumer collection statistics from the Credit Services Association are anything to go by, for they have managed to increase collections in the first quarter of 2015 (Q1 2015) against a continuing dwindling stock of debt held.

New consumer collections figures that form part of the CSA’s Data Gathering Initiative (DGI) show that gross contingent collections have increased from £431,871,659 in Q4 2014 to £470,844,681 in Q1 2015, an increase of nearly £39 million (or 9%) and an increase of £19.5 million (or 4%) over the same quarter last year.

This now firmly bucks the trend for the first three quarters of 2014 that saw a reducing DCA contingent collections curve in line with a reducing debt stock, with early indications of the grass roots of recovery showing in Q4 2014 that has continued into Q1 2015 at pace. This remarkable performance is perhaps even more significant in that it returns DCA collections to a level last seen in Q2 2013 and reflects both the resilience of these agencies in responding to any challenge that is thrown their way and the ability of collection businesses to perform in a regulated environment. Its significance may even be deeper: it may prove our view that as DCAs mature their processes and procedures in line with FCA requirements, that treating customers fairly (TCF) is not a new concept and a barrier to collections performance at all but rather a methodology long ago adopted by most in the industry and reflected in relatively low complaints statistics.

Sharp increases
Debt Buyer gross collections have also shown a sharp increase in the first quarter, jumping 10% over Q4 2014 from £235.5 million to £260 million. This is no doubt partly due to the withdrawal of paying accounts for ongoing collection in house, as debt buyers continue to consolidate their DCA panels, but it also reflects the ongoing steady growth throughout 2014 in debt buyer collections off the back of the buyers’ growing debt stock. Context is again important: this is a year-on-year increase of almost a quarter (22%) over the £213 million collected in Q1 2014 and looking back to nearly two years ago, an increase of more than a quarter (26%) over the £193 million collected in Q2 2013.

In terms of the ‘bigger’ picture, and the overall industry performance, total debt held for collection by CSA members has once again increased and now stands at £69.2 billion, a rise of 3% on Q4 2014 and an increase of 11% (or £7.4 billion) in two years (ie since Q1 2013).

Overall debt owned by Buyers continued to increase throughout 2014 and shows no signs of slowing; Q1 2015 has started the New Year in similar fashion. Debt owned by Buyers now stands at £56.4 billion as at March 2015, compared to £55.3 billion at the end of 2014, a 10% increase year-on-year. Given that our figures showed that Buyers ‘only’ owned £43 billion when measured in Q1 2013, it is clear how far the industry has come in such a comparatively short space of time.

Outsourced debt

Debt outsourced by the buyers to DCA's has shown a significant reduction dropping 7% from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015. This no doubt reflects recent acquisition activity in the industry and panel consolidation. This reduction from £15 billion to £14 billion has removed £1 billion in purchased debt from active collection by DCAs since the end of 2014.

Debt held for collection by DCA’s continues to decline and has dropped a further 1% between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, down £356 million from £27.1 billion to £26.8 billion. Although another quarterly decline, the pace is clearly slowing, and perhaps demonstrates that the trend towards panel consolidation and account withdrawals is drawing to a conclusion. DCA debt holdings have declined 10% year-on-year though, and looking back over the last two years have reduced by 18% from £31.6 billion to the current £26.8 billion.

As well as measuring financial volumes and values, the DGI also monitors industry staffing levels that have remained relatively steady between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015. The industry currently employs in the region of 11,000 staff, 6,000 of which are call centre collectors and 5,000 undertaking back office/compliance roles. Although employment levels may have steadied, they are considerably down on the volumes two years ago when the industry employed 12% more call centre collectors with 6,800 staff on the phones compared to 6,000 today.

As reported in the Q4 2014 DGI update, it provides yet more evidence of the impact of industry consolidation and how companies and individuals are managing to achieve more with less.