After failing talks with DEMSA, DRF have entered an exclusive agreement with the Insolvency Practitioners Association to manage member inspections.
It is with some regret that I have to inform members that DEMSA have decided they do not want to proceed with a merger with DRF. However, you need be in no doubt that DRF will bring you the strong, independent voice the industry needs as well as the standards that will be required to maintain public confidence in your services in the months and years to come. Our press release on this subject is available to view here.
Our doors will always be open to DEMSA, should they reconsider, but meanwhile, we are forging ahead with the training (CertDR), independent, authoritative complaints handling and independent inspection audit that we believe are key to giving you the public trust you will need to stay in business and prosper as the OFT’s revised debt management guidance comes into force.
We believe our commitment in these areas will enable us to continue to provide a strong voice for the industry too – and you can be sure we will represent your interests robustly. Over 200 delegates are attending our November 2 conference and will have an opportunity to hear more about this and take part in the process.
I also have pleasure in announcing that the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) has entered an exclusive agreement with DRF to provide inspection and audit services to DRF members only. These include audits required by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to confirm compliance with their debt management guidance.
DRF is also energetically pursuing it’s own application for OFT code approval.
I am also taking this opportunity to give members early warning of forthcoming OFT activity. We have been informed they are turning their attention to unlicensed and non compliant lead generators. This will be dealt with in the OFT’s updated debt management guidance and will include a competence requirement for debt management companies only to get leads from licensed and compliant introducers. We hope to have more news soon regarding this and other areas of OFT interest, but in the interim, we would advise members urgently to satisfy themselves that the introducers they work with are licensed and compliant. We intend to issue a guidance note to members shortly but it should be noted that it will not be sufficient to accept an assurance from a lead provider that they are compliant and that members will need to show they have processes in place to assure themselves of continuing compliance by the lead generator concerned.
I believe we have an opportunity to change the way our industry is viewed and to become acknowledged as a valuable cog-wheel in Britain’s consumer-spending driven economy. DRF looks forward to a strong, independent future.