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CONC 2.6 Conduct of business: debt counselling, debt adjusting and providing credit information services

Application

CONC 2.6.1R

This section applies to a firm with respect to:

  1. (1)

    debt counselling; or

  2. (2)

    debt adjusting; or

  3. (3)

    providing credit information services.

Conduct of business

CONC 2.6.2R

A firm must bring to the attention of a customer how the firm uses the customer's personal data it collects in a manner appropriate to the means of communication used.

[Note: paragraph 2.5e of DMG]

Unfair business practices

CONC 2.6.3R

A firm must not:

  1. (1)

    by any means, including during a visit to a customer, coerce or use pressure to sell its services;

    [Note: paragraph 3.12o of DMG]

  2. (2)

    take advantage of a customer's lack of knowledge or understanding of the law relating to consumer credit or to insolvency or to otherwise dealing with debts in order to sell its services;

    [Note: paragraph 3.12o of DMG]

  3. (3)

    in relation to a visit to a customer:

    1. (a)

      make an appointment to visit or visit at a time which is unreasonable or inconvenient from the customer's point of view, unless the consumer expressly consents;

      [Note: paragraph 3.15a of DMG]

    2. (b)

      refuse to end the visit, refuse to leave the customer's home or ignore the customer's request not to return there;

      [Note: paragraph 3.15b of DMG]

    3. (c)

      make a visit which is unreasonably or unnecessarily long;

      [Note: paragraph 3.15c of DMG]

  4. (4)

    conduct a telephone call with a customer who has called on a premium rate number for an unreasonable period.

    [Note: paragraph 3.18x of DMG]

Guidance on unfair business practices

CONC 2.6.4G
  1. (1)

    It is an offence for a person carrying on the business of debt counselling, debt adjusting or providing credit information services to canvass its services off trade premises under section 154 of the CCA. The definition of canvassing in section 153 of the CCA would include an unsolicited personal visit to a customer's home.

    [Note: paragraph 3.13 of DMG]

  2. (2)

    Where a long telephone call is required, the firm should ensure the call is not made on a premium rate number.

  3. (3)

    It is unlikely to be reasonable for it to be necessary for a customer to make a call exceeding one hour to a firm in relation to debt counselling or debt adjusting. Where a call longer than 15 minutes is required for the firm to provide its service to the customer, the firm should ensure the call is not made on a premium rate phone number.

  4. (4)

    It is unlikely to be reasonable for a call by the customer to check on the status of the customer's case to last more than five minutes.

  5. (5)

    Firms should note the effect of the call charges rule in GEN 7.1