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Compliance Strategy

1st October 2008

The purpose of this compliance strategy is to ensure that as a company, we are transparent, doing things right, being accountable and that we look at problem solving from a societal perspective. We aim to work as a credit licensee with professionalism and empathy towards our clients and aim to carry out our work within the current laws and regulations.

When looking at our compliance strategy three main principles were considered

        Fundamental attitude towards compliance with the laws; and

        The regulatory environment and requirements

        Complaints Procedures

 

When Debt Collecting or dealing with other Credit Licence issues, the compliance approaches we aim to use at Daniels & Fox are outlined below:

        Informing Daniels & Fox want individuals and organisations to understand both our and their responsibilities. We aim to provide information to clients in a variety of formats including Letters, emails, courtesy calls, help lines and one line information. We aim to inform both customers and clients about the way we, as a company, will approach credit work with professionalism and within the laws and regulations.

        Encouraging Daniels & Fox will undertake a number of activities aimed at encouraging compliance. These include attending training / advice sessions on credit control or joining organisations such as the Credit Services Agency. We aim to keep up with current legislation, obtain advice from OFT especially in high risk areas and a continued monitoring of the business to make sure we are complying with regulations.

        Assisting Daniels & Fox aim to help and support individuals and organisations by complying with regulations and will aim to conduct ourselves in a professional manner by visiting, where necessary and offering conciliation advice to resolve disputes.

        Monitoring Daniels & Fox will regularly check that we are complying to laws and regulations and will encourage proactive inspections and Investigations of complaints (see complaints procedures)

 

Daniels & Fox Standards

 

        To understand what behaviour is expected by the OFT and put in place good practices to meet those requirements

        To be fit to engage in the activities for which we are licensed.

        To comply with the Consumer Credit Act 1974

        All advertising and marketing must be accurate, clear and not misleading

        To operate a no cold calling personal visits policy

        To give debtors adequate information before entering into any agreement

        To inform clients of any outcomes of negotiations with creditors, as well as any developments with creditors such as the issue of default notices of threats of legal action

        To make payment to creditors within five working days of cleared debtor funds

 

Good Business Practice

COMMUNCATION

At Daniels & Fox we understand that it is unfair to communicate in whatever form in an unclear, inaccurate or misleading manner.

Examples of good business practice that we would adhere to are as follows:

        To never use official looking documents to resemble court claims

        To not leaving out or presenting information in such a way that it creates a false or misleading impression

        Always making it clear to the debtor who we are, who are working on behalf and what the purpose of contact is

        To not using unnecessary technical or legal jargon

        To provide to the debtor information on current status of debt and providing statements when requested

        To contact debtors at reasonable times after 8am and before 10pm

        To never ignore or disregard debtors legitimate wishes in respect of when and where to be contacted (shift workers etc)

        To never ask or instruct debtors to make payments on premium rate telephone numbers

 

FALSE REPRESENTATION OF AUTHORITY AND/OR LEGAL POSITION

At Daniels & Fox we understand that when contacting debtors we must not be deceitful by misrepresenting our authority and/or legal position

Examples of good business practice that we would adhere to are as follows:

        To never falsely imply or claim authority

        To never falsely imply or state that action can be taken when it legally cannot

        To never misrepresent status or backing, such as using a logo which implies government backing, using a business name which implies public body status or falsely claiming trade body membership

        To never falsely imply or state that action has been taken when it has not

        To never falsely imply or state that failure to pay a debt is a criminal offence or that criminal proceedings will be brought

 

PHYSICAL / PSYCHOLOGICAL HARRASSMENT

At Daniels & Fox we understand that putting pressure on debtors or third parties is considered to be oppressive

Examples of good business practice that we would adhere to are as follows:

        To never contact debtors at unreasonable times and at unreasonable intervals

        To never pressurise debtors to sell property, to raise funds by further borrowing or to extend their borrowing

        To never use more than one debt collection business at the same time resulting in repetitive and / or frequent contact by different parties

        To ensure that an adequate history of the debt is passed on as appropriate resulting in less repetitive and / or frequent contact by different parties

        To Inform the debtor when their case has been passed onto a different debt collector

        To never pressurise the debtor to pay in full, in unreasonably large instalments or to increase their payment when they are unable to do so

        To never make threatening statements of gestures or take actions which suggest harm to the debtor

        To never ignore or disregard claims that the debtor has settled the debt or that the debtor disputes the claim and make unjustified demands for payment

        To never disclose or threaten to disclose debt details to third parties unless legally entitled to do so

        To never act in a manner or way likely to publicly embarrass the debtor either deliberately or through lack of care.

 

DECEPTIVE AND / OR UNFAIR METHODS

At Daniels & Fox we understand that our actions should not be deceitful and / or unfair when dealing with debtors

Examples of good business practice that we would adhere to are as follows:

        Always making sure that demands for payment are sent to the individual and to make certain that they are the debtor in question

        To never disclose debt details to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question

        To never refuse to deal with appointed or authorised third parties, such as Citizens Advice Bureaux or other money advisers

        To never contact the debtor direct by bypassing their appointed representatives

        To never operate a policy, without good and fair reason, of refusing to negotiate with debt management companies

        To never pass on debtor details to debt management companies without the debtors informed prior consent

        To never fail to refer on to the creditor reasonable offers to pay by instalments

        To never not pass on payments received within a reasonable time, resulting in delays that adversely affect a debtors financial position

        To never fail to investigate and / or provide details as appropriate, when a debt is queried or disputed, possibly resulting in debtors being wrongly pursued

        To cease collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt

CARGING FOR DEBT COLLECTION

At Daniels & Fox we understand that our charges should not be levied unfairly

Examples of good business practice that we would adhere to are as follows:

        To never claim collection costs from a debtor in the absence of express contractual or other legal provision

        To never mislead debtors into believing they are legally liable to pay collection charges when this is not the case

        To always give an indication in any credit agreement of the amount of any charges payable on default

        To never apply charges which are disproportionate to the main debt

 

 

DEBT COLLECTING VISITS

At Daniels & Fox we understand that when visiting debtors we must not act in an unclear or threatening manner

Examples of good business practice that we would adhere to are as follows:

        Always making the purpose of any proposed visit clear

        To never visit a debtor if they are known to be vulnerable

        To never continue with a visit when it becomes apparent that the debtor is distressed, or otherwise vulnerable

        To never enter a property uninvited

        Always leave a property when asked to do so

        To never visit or threaten to visit a debtor without prior agreement when the debt is deadlocked or disputed

        Always give adequate notice of the time and date of a visit

        To only visit a debtor at inappropriate locations such as work or hospital unless requested

 

 

 
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