DRF has released a member newsletter concentrating on the most recent OFT communication which will affect the workings of the industry.
Previous newsletters and member emails have drawn attention to the fact that we can expect, as an industry, serious criticism from the Office of Fair Trading regarding our industry’s compliance with their debt management guidance. The OFT are communicating with us, on a regular basis and their debt management team has asked us to draw member’s attention to two recent press releases they have issued, which publicise actions they have taken against companies in our industry.
Something new with these press notices is that the requirements they are imposing on each company can be downloaded by anyone as part of the press notice.
The OFT have made it clear to us that this is just the beginning and that they will be continuing to make requirements of companies who they consider to be in breach of the debt management guidance and that they will be making efforts to gain maximum press coverage for every case.
DRF will be robust in response to this. We feel it would, generally, be unhelpful to members to react to specific cases, but we will defend our members by pointing out that the standards we have are the highest in the industry and that we are beginning a process of actively policing them. We will point out the unique success of CertDR and the authoritative complaints panel and process that we have (and which has heard its first case – upheld in the members’ favour). We will be pointing out that our standards and code are rigorous and that our members are committed to high standards – because high standards bring consumer confidence. It won’t be an easy battle, but we will fight hard.
If you have news about your compliance successes following OFT/Trading standards visits between last autumn and now, then we’d like to hear it – as soon as possible: The OFT actively want to hear about these efforts and tell us they will, if we are convincing, report them too.
With very best regards
Debt Resolution Forum Chairman