Search

Compliance: What It Means For Us And For You



When JSP Credit Management was first incorporated, naturally a fair amount of preparatory work had already been done. Things such as building a website, getting our terms and conditions done, and building a business plan. The business plan was a struggle, to be honest, particularly the “marketing” section. “Marketing plan?”, we thought, “what on earth is one of them?”


The good thing is we didn’t have to do it alone. This has been one of JSP Credit Management’s core mantra’s since starting up. That we would not do anything by ourselves that we were not, 100% confident on, and so with the business plan we never. We took time out to consider how we were going to promote the business, what would be the most effective strategy to use for a business of our type in a way that would it target the right people.

As a start-up business, we knew we needed to do something about our online visibility so that when people did need our services, we could be found in the right place, at the right time. We have come to learn this is called search engine optimisation (SEO for short). We also learned that one of the most used methods for improving SEO is by writing a blog. We won’t go into details about the rationale behind that but we thought it was a reasonable suggestion, and six months later, here we are.


At the outset, our initial plan consisted of a plan to write 10 blogs. Back then, even that was a struggle. To come up with 10 different ideas of what to write about as a blog, and each one of them had to be completely life-changing to each reader of it of course. This is now our 26th unique blog, and this weeks topic is one that we have not discussed to date, apart from a brief mention of data protection earlier on in the series.


Admittedly, unless you are involved in debt collection or credit management more widely, we do not expect this to be an edge of your seat read (or even if you are in the industry!). But it is becoming increasingly important to anybody involved in the industry for a variety of reasons. However before we delve into that, we want to talk a bit more generally about compliance and what it means for us as a business.


When we talk about compliance, we are talking about compliance with any regulatory or legal requirements or of professional membership body codes of conduct and other codes of ethics that may apply to us in our roles in the industry. If you are serious about credit management then you will notice that there is quite a lot to consider, or if you’re a customer of a finance company you might want to know a bit more about it, for your benefit.


The first time we came across the role of regulators in the finance sector was whilst working for an independent financial advisor many years ago, and when completing mortgage application forms for them, we were required to put the “FSA Number” on the application form. Back then we did not think too much about compliance from when we had to certify the identification documents of customers for money laundering purposes.


However, as time passed, compliance, again and again, would rear its head to remind us of its importance. We recall back in 2017, how frantically our then employer had been in trying to prepare for the implementation of GDPR, a task that was no mean feat for an organisation that employed thousands of people and operated all over the world, and now in our role as a newly formed credit management company were acutely aware of the role of the FCA as regulators of the industry that we work in now.


Further still, we had to be reminded early on that we needed to register with the information commissioners office as a data controller. We also had learned as a business model adapted to market demand that we could not just conduct home visits without writing to the customer to let them know first, and mention the purpose of the visit and given a reasonable amount of time to prepare for it. We found out we also needed to carry ID cards with us and present them to the customer upon arrival. And even now we recognise that our position of compliance is only temporary considering the ever-evolving nature of regulation.


But what about the consumer, how are they affected? Well, we would like to think positively. That is certainly the aim of the regulators. For the FCA they tell of three operational objectives, “securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system, and promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers in the markets”. Their consistent reference to ‘consumers’ highlights your importance in the equation.


For the ICO, they talk about having ‘strategic goals’ which inform the work that they do and the policies that they create. At the forefront of that is the aim “To increase the public's trust and confidence in how data is used and made available. Improve standards of information rights practise through clear, inspiring and targeted engagement and influence. Maintain and develop influence within the global information rights regulatory community.”


For the customers and consumers of credit management companies and debt collection agencies specifically, there is the Credit Services Association (CSA) who are a trade association that represent no less than 90% of the industry and comment on their website that “ our vision is to build confidence in debt collection by making the entire process clear, easy to understand and less stressful for all those involved”. All members of the CSA are expected to abide by their code of practice which can be found here.


What these organisations do and offer to the consumers of companies and organisations that are regulated by them is offer them peace of mind, through a level of accountability which means that if their conduct ever falls short of the standards which are explicitly prescribed to them upon membership then consumers have options available to them to have those problems rectified by the regulators. In doing so, it affords the public a higher standard of treatment and service.


We are still here to do a bit to businesses safeguard their cash flow against late payers or debtors that are refusing to pay, so if you have been struggling to get an invoice paid and would appreciate the support of a team that prides itself on operating in a way that is mindful of the above then visit our website at www.jspcreditmanagement.co.uk and contact us to discuss your needs on 01827 66820


We operate on a no-win-no-fee basis for bad debt recovery and our credit control and credit risk services can be ordered via our website with the littlest of hassle.

48 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All