At Equivo, part of our core values are the dedication to maintaining the highest of standards and continuation to set a new bar in our industry.
Therefore we welcome and fully support the forthcoming announcement of the formation of The Enforcement Conduct Authority (ECA), as confirmed in The Centre for Social Justice’s (CSJ) report “Taking Control for Good – Introducing the Enforcement Conduct Authority”, released this week.
Last year, the Enforcement Oversight Working Group (EOWG), key members of both the enforcement and debt advice sectors, chaired by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) joined forces to share learnings with a view to reshape the industries. As a result, a new regulatory and supervisory authority is to be developed to enhance and improve enforcement agent activity methods, complaints procedures and treating vulnerable customers fairly.
Clear and distinct guidance is set to be announced later this year when The Enforcement Conduct Authority (ECA) is officially launched and finalised, but a clear focus on vulnerable customers is apparent in the guidance:
" the ECA will commit to ensuring the fair treatment of people subject to enforcement in vulnerable circumstances, and to drive improvements in practice building on work already undertaken in this area. This will be primarily delivered through provision of new affordable repayment and vulnerability protocols drawing on best practice from other organisations, firms and bodies, as appropriate."
A summary of the protection vulnerable people involved in enforcement are set to benefit from includes:
- fair and affordable repayment plans for vulnerable customers
- improved accountability through a standardised two-phase complaints process and escalated complaints to be judged by an independent panel
- improved rules, conditions and competencies, resulting from discussions among the ECA board
- supervising enforcement activity and penalising those who fall below the standard required of the industry
Equivo Founder and CEO, John Ingram commented: "These are encouraging signs to see a collaborative approach taken by experts in the industries to apply a structured set of guidance. At Equivo we pride ourselves on raising industry standards and see this announcement aligns with our core beliefs to bring all parties the right resolution."