News Article

Debt Collection

DCAs yet to be convinced of fairness of Fair Share contribution

By CreditMan Wednesday, March 25, 2015

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).

Less than a quarter (24 percent) of members currently support StepChange Debt Charity, PayPlan or CAP by paying their ‘Fair Share’ contribution although more would be inclined to do so if the Fair Share was lower.

When asked whether a mandatory contribution to the scheme would be fairer, almost half (43 percent) agreed to the premise, leaving the balance to disagree or pass no particular comment.

In terms of how agencies expected to be treated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a positive 54 percent believed that the FCA would be engaging closely with firms to further their understanding of the industry whilst still measuring standards and good practice.

Not all, however, were convinced: 22 percent said that they expect the FCA to make an example of bad practice early on to demonstrate its power.

A snapshot of the industry’s current preparedness for the new FCA regime showed a mixed picture: 20 percent claimed to be already fully compliant; 54 percent mostly compliant though with some improvements still planned; and 12 percent that they were currently undergoing a significant change programme to meet the required standard.

More than a quarter (27 percent) were in the planning stages of an application for authorisation, 53 percent were gathering detailed materials together, and only five percent had as yet made no progress at all. This is despite the new regulator, and getting through the authorisation process, being cited by 44 percent of firms as their biggest business concern.

Data protection continues to cause concern, with three quarters (75 percent) of Members’ ranking DP compliance as being extremely important. Members were also asked whether cash for commission was still ‘fit for purpose’ in today’s regulatory environment, with almost three quarters (72 percent) believing it was. Nearly two thirds (62 percent), however, said that the CSA should explore an alternative to the model.

Members were asked to vote electronically throughout the two-day event, with their findings shared in the room. The percentages were based on the 175 delegates who attended the meeting in Leicester last month.