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News & blogs: Compliance Roundups

Compliance Roundup - 8 July 2019

08 July 2019  

This issue - click to view

CSA Supplier member webinar
FCA publishes policy statement on 2019/20 fees and levies
FOS consults on future funding model
CSA Compliance Meeting covers SM&CR, complaints and communications guidance
ICO develops new guidance on use of cookies and similar technologies
FCA warnings – unauthorised and ‘clone’ firms
FCA enforcement - final notices and decision notices


CSA Supplier member webinar

An upcoming series of CSA webinars will offer members the opportunity to explore the products and services of our Supplier Members. Supplier Members will each present a free 30-minute webinar to talk about their products and the benefits they could potentially bring to CSA member businesses.

Next webinar:

Date: 18 July 2019, 11.00

Company: Hostcomm

Title: How chatbots can handle up to 85% of customer service enquiries 24/7

Register now


FCA publishes policy statement on 2019/20 fees and levies

The FCA has published its policy statement following its consultation earlier this year on the regulated fees and levies for 2019/20.

The policy statement is available here.


FOS consults on future funding model

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has published a consultation setting out proposed changes to its funding model. Of particular note are the FCA’s proposals to rebalance the way its funding is divided between case fees and the levy, and proposals to reduce the number of free cases to 10.

Any members wishing to contribute to a CSA response should provide comments as soon as possible to Henry Aitchison (

The consultation is available here and responses are due by 13 August 2019.


CSA Compliance Meeting covers SM&CR, complaints and communications guidance

On 4 July 2019, the CSA held its latest compliance meeting in London. The day included presentations on preparing for the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR) and complaints in debt collection, as well as a workshop looking at the CSA’s standard communications guidance.

Frank Brown from Bovill got the day underway with a session on SM&CR, encouraging attendees to look beyond the rules and regulations part of SM&CR and focus on what it is trying to achieve. Improved governance, accountability and culture will benefit all and put firms in a strong position to be compliant.

It is important to involve HR in the process and recognise their role in tackling conduct risk, particularly when it comes to recruiting individuals who are not just competent but also fit with the culture of the organisation.

This was followed by a second session on SM&CR, delivered by Nic Dent from Worksmart, which explored the operationalisation of SM&CR. Nic suggested that firms’ SM&CR projects should be looking at planning and designing business-as-usual processes. His presentation slides included a useful example timeline for SM&CR preparation.

Nic also discussed some of the challenges of SM&CR, such as identifying the certification population and measuring competency and capability.

The day then focused on the subject of complaints, with a session delivered by Mark Hollands, an ombudsman manager at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Mark initially outlined some of the recent statistics in the consumer credit sector, noting that although consumer credit had seen an 89% increase in complaints to the ombudsman, within that section complaints about debt collection had only seen a 5% increase.

Mark discussed some common issues and themes in complaints about debt collection, such as lack of, or incorrect, referral to the FOS and collections continuing despite a dispute or notification that the person being contacted is not the complainant. When it comes to responding to the FOS, attendees were encouraged to provide appropriately detailed file submissions, not necessarily just the final response.

When asked about the jurisdiction of the FOS and whether referral was required in all instances, Mark suggested that it would only be appropriate not to give referral rights where it was absolutely certain that no such right existed (e.g. utilities collection). However, where a firm had any doubt, the referral right should be communicated to the complainant.

CSA board member, Joanne Cowens, then delivered a presentation on complaint handling. The session dispelled some complaint-related myths, for example, clarifying that firms are not necessarily bound by a mistake made in a conversation with a customer.

There was also some discussion of how to construct a final response, clearly setting out your understanding of the complaint and responding to each element. Attendees were also encouraged to apologise, if it is appropriate, as this can often go a long way to settling matters.

Colleen Peel, head of marketing and events at the CSA, then provided an update on some of the CSA’s work around membership engagement. Colleen detailed some of the findings from last year’s Investors in Customers (IIC) survey and how the CSA has responded. A follow-up survey is due to be carried out in the coming weeks and we would encourage all member employees to complete this – the more feedback we get, the better service we can deliver. More detail about the findings of the 2018 survey can be found here.

Colleen also mentioned other CSA engagement work, including face-to-face meetings with member companies (at their premises or ours), the development of an industry video to promote customer engagement with member companies, and a follow-up to the 2013 online research report, the results of which are being reviewed at present.

The day was then concluded with a workshop looking at the CSA’s standard debt collection communications guidance. The CSA is looking to update the document this year to take into account regulatory and technological change. Attendees split into groups and discussed what changes have occurred in the last six years and what best practice might look like in relation to those changes. The groups also discussed what communication-related changes might be coming down the line. The CSA invited attendees to provide any additional feedback by e-mail to Daniel Spenceley ( and we would encourage all members to do the same.

The presentation slides from the day are available here.


ICO develops new guidance on use of cookies and similar technologies

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released new guidance on the use of cookies and similar technologies. The guidance sets out the ICO’s expectations for firms operating online services, such as websites or applications, and how they should comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

Alongside the guidance the ICO has published a blog by Ali Shah, the ICO’s Head of Technology Policy, which discusses what the ICO views as good in terms of cookies.

The guidance is available here and the blog can be found here.


FCA warnings – unauthorised and ‘clone’ firms

The FCA regularly publishes warnings about firms that are believed to be carrying out regulated activities without authorisation. They also publish warnings about fraudsters who are using the details of legitimately authorised firms in order to convince people that they work for a genuine authorised company.

The warnings that have been issued by the FCA this week can be viewed by clicking on the relevant links below:

Unauthorised firms

'Clone' firms

Invest Smart Money    Capital FMI / Global ES Ltd
Pederson Law Firm
  Northern Trust Global Services Plc
Hill Law Associates
Cleeton Corporate Partners  
Cooper & Barnes Wealth Advisory  
Sapien Asset Management  
Levenson Corporate Partners    


FCA enforcement - final notices and decision notices

The FCA often publishes final notices and decision notices following investigations into alleged regulatory breaches or the refusal of applications for authorisation. These notices can often provide useful insight into what the FCA considers to be poor practice and the potential consequences of those practices. The FCA will also occasionally publish press releases detailing the outcome of cases pursued through the courts.

In the last week, the FCA has issued the notices listed below. You can read more about the FCA’s investigation and findings by clicking on the relevant link.

Craig Mitchison – final notice


Credit Services Association,
2 Esh Plaza, Sir Bobby Robson Way,
Great Park, Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE13 9BA Map

fenca iic


T: 0191 217 0775

F: 0191 236 2709


Credit Services Association Limited 
Registered in England and Wales No. 00089614

CSA (Services) Ltd
Registered in England and Wales No. 05055685

Registered address:
2 Esh Plaza, Sir Bobby Robson Way, Great Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13 9BA