The recent CSA DBSG Annual Conference, which took place on the 7th and 8th of September at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham, saw a new President of the trade body installed.
Sara de Tute took over the Presidency from Dr Roger Lucas last month, who, in his parting speech, paid tribute to the continued hard work and commitment of the CSA board from which he is retiring after 17 years of service.
Dr Lucas said:
“Nearly everything the Association has focused on in the last two years has been towards improving the perception and reputation of our industry proving that high standards do exist, and where they don’t, helping to identify those areas of weakness and providing solutions where help is needed.”
Leigh Berkley, chairman of the Debt Buyers and Sellers Group (DBSG) was also stepping down to be replaced by Zazh Lewy of Arrow Global. Leigh said:
“CIP is the first comprehensive compliance standard for our industry. It has already been welcomed by the OFT and is the cornerstone of our drive to inspire confidence from government, consumer groups and the media alike.”
Also, at the conference the OFT’s consumer credit group deputy director, Nigel Cates, gave confirmation that the eagerly anticipated Debt Guidance would shortly be published, with the major focus on data accuracy and compliance.
Mr Cates praised the CSA, saying :
“The CSA has been of huge benefit to its (debt collection) members and consumers and is one of the most professional trade associations we deal with. They understand the standards expected.”
The new guidance will also be emphasising fairness and responsibility of all parties, including third parties, who Mr Cates confirmed must be fit to hold a license and hinting that the suitability of the instructing agency could be called into question if they were not up to scratch.
Mr Cates finished up with a firm and clear message:
“The underlying message to the consumer is ‘pay your debts’”