October 26, 2015 Comments Off on HUBSOLV JOINS DEMSA AS ASSOCIATE MEMBER
Debt Management & Insolvency systems specialist provides members with access to leading edge browser based cloud software.
Leading Debt Management & Insolvency software solutions company, HubSolv, has signed up to DEMSA as an Associate Member.
As Kevin Still, CEO of DEMSA explains, the addition of this technology company as an Associate Member extends the range of expertise available to the debt advice and debt solution companies that are full and affiliate members of the Association. “Our goal at DEMSA is to partner with Associate Members that help our Member companies to operate best practice, using compliant systems and processes.
“The FCA Thematic Review into the quality of debt advice, published in June 2015, not only looked at the delivery of advice but the systems & controls in place to be able to deliver the right outcomes for indebted consumers. Recruiting Associate Members like HubSolv is, therefore, an important part of what we can deliver to our Members to help them comply with FCA regulations. It is also important for system and software providers to be aware of the challenges facing our members and to incorporate the appropriate level of functionality and non-functional aspects, like data security, into their platforms.”
HubSolv was formed in 2014 by two credit industry professionals who recognized the constant battle to bridge systems and processes together to qualify and manage personal insolvency and debt management cases. With a focus on taking the dependency on paperwork out of the relationship between people struggling with debt and creditors and insolvency practitioners, HubSolv creates a command centre for insolvency and debt management companies to effortlessly interact with creditors and debtors and progress cases painlessly and efficiently.
With more than 50 debt solution member firms, including personal insolvency specialists, DEMSA represents over 300,000 DMPs, amounting to well over 2 million credit agreements and billions of pounds of debts under management. There is also a growing number of Associate Members, including compliance, training, specialist insurance brokers (e.g. PII cover) and specialist software providers.
Associate Membership is applicable for a variety of companies that support the debt and insolvency sector, including technology and systems providers and training specialists. Associate Membership starts at £250 per annum.
October 19, 2015 Comments Off on DEMSA MOVES TO NEW HQ
Newly merged debt management association establishes centre for ‘best in practice’ debt adviser training in Leeds
October 2015 – The Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) has marked the next phase of its development since merging with the Association of Professional Debt Solution Intermediaries (APDSI) with its move to new headquarters in Leeds. With a clear focus on providing ‘best in practice’ guidance for debt management practitioners, the new DEMSA HQ features tailor made conference and training facilities.
With more than 40 debt management firms and a number of insolvency specialist and support providers already signed up as members, the association is attracting interest from across the sector as regulator scrutiny increases. The delivery of quality training and professional development for debt advisers is, therefore, crucial.
The FCA’s Thematic Review into the quality of debt advice, published in June 2015, looked at all aspects of ‘paid for’ debt advice. There is, therefore, a need for a demonstrable and proportionate ‘Quality Assurance Framework’ in every debt management firm, an initiative that DEMSA is supporting through independent QA. Adviser education is also addressed by the association, including the DEMSA/IMA CMAP course accredited by MAS. There are also plans for DEMSA to extend its range of courses to support advisers helping consumers across the UK demographic, from the most indebted to those who own their own homes or are self-employed.
“Our new HQ with extensive training facilities, and the launch of our CPD Academy platform will go further to support frontline advisers”, explained Kevin Still, CEO of DEMSA. “And we are planning to introduce individual membership to CMAP graduates which should increase the access to a range of CPD.”
The new DEMSA Headquarters are located at:
Office 45-46, Sugar Mill
Sugar Mill Business Park
September 28, 2015 Comments Off on DEMSA on the move
DEMSA are pleased to announce that we have now moved to new offices in the Leeds area.
Our new address is:
Office 45-46 Sugar Mill
Sugar Mill Business Park
Our phone number remains the same: 0113 2777610
August 21, 2015 Comments Off on DEMSA AND APDSI MERGER ANNOUNCED – KEVIN STILL APPOINTED AS CEO
20th August 2015 – The Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) and the Association of Professional Debt Solution Intermediaries (APDSI) have today announced the merger of their debt solution trade associations. The strategic move creates an association of more than 40 debt management firms and a number of insolvency specialist and support providers to the sector.
The merged association, which will operate under the DEMSA brand, has appointed industry veteran, Kevin Still as CEO. Under his leadership it will show continued commitment to supporting members of all sizes as well as the individuals who use their services.
The merger creates a stronger association that aims to promote the value of the paid for debt solution sector and pro-actively raise standards through member participation, to deliver positive consumer outcomes. As a result of the merger, DEMSA now represents more than 300,000 Debt Management Plans, amounting to over 2 million credit agreements. In addition, the combined association represents over 40 debt management firms across all legal jurisdictions and a number of insolvency firms and specialist business support associate members.
Kevin Still, MCICM, has been a principal trainer for DEMSA and APDSI over the last 18 months, giving him a strong understanding of both organisations. In his new role as CEO, he will work closely with the applications, supervisory and enforcement teams at the FCA alongside other regulatory bodies, trade associations and industry influencers. The merger will also see the expansion of the board to represent a cross-section of the expanded membership base
“This is a strategic merger of two associations to create a DEMSA that can best represent our members and support higher standards for the benefit of the credit sector and the public alike,” explains Kevin Still, CEO for DEMSA. “We have used the recent FCA Thematic Review on the suitability of debt advice as a major driver to improve industry standards.
“One of the overriding strategic imperatives is for the merged association to represent a true industry voice and provide a genuine conduit with the primary sector regulators and ombudsmen, notably the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
“This merger comes at a critical stage for the majority of members, where most have applied for full permissions with the FCA and are now subject to supplemental information requests and visits. We want to take advantage of the FCA information requests to members from May 2014 onwards, in order to establish a meaningful data gathering initiative to assist lobbying, promotion, creditor initiatives and responses to current regulatory consultations.”
Richard Wharton, General Secretary for DEMSA, adds: “This is an exciting merger, which brings together two established and respected organisations and combines that expertise and influence for the benefit of its members.
“With Kevin Still at the helm, DEMSA is set to tackle the challenges facing our industry and encourage higher standards that give the public and the credit industry confidence in the debt management sector. One of our key objectives is growing the membership base in terms of volume of members and commercial debt solutions. This will be supported by a major commitment to accredited training, in association with the IMA and through DEMSA’s CPD programme for members.”
For further press information, please contact the DEMSA press office at HSL: Wendy Harrison – 0208 977 9132. email@example.com
June 25, 2015 Comments Off on FCA Thematic Review: Quality of debt management advice
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today released their thematic review of the debt management sector.
You can view the full document by following the link below:
The General Secretary of DEMSA, Richard Wharton gave this response:
“DEMSA welcomes the publication of the Quality of Debt Management Advice report by the FCA and considers that any action which will improve or help vulnerable consumers in dealing with their problems is welcomed.”
“DEMSA and its members take the implications and content of the report seriously and will continue to work with the regulator to ensure full authorisation of their businesses.”
“In the report the FCA considers that Debt Management firms that meet their standards (whether fee charging or free to customer) can provide a valuable service to consumers struggling with debt. DEMSA members are committed to meeting the Principles for Business as set out in the FCA Handbook and will continue to strive to meet these exacting standards and to provide vulnerable consumers with a fair and valuable service.”
March 24, 2014 Comments Off on DEMSA Chairman
Ray Watson, who was appointed as DEMSA Chairman last year has had to step aside from his role, although he will remain with DEMSA as a special adviser.
Richard Wharton, the General Secretary of DEMSA has assumed the role of Chairman, on an interim basis.
September 19, 2013 Comments Off on Ray Watson to be the new DEMSA chairman
Ray Watson is to join DEMSA (the Debt Managers Standards Association) as non-executive chairman. His appointment was confirmed by the DEMSA board on 17th September and he will formally take up the new role from the AGM on 9th October.
Ray is Regulatory & Compliance director at Walker Morris – an international law firm based in Leeds. Before that Ray spent many years in senior roles at the Office of Fair Trading where, as Head of UK Credit, he steered the organisation through the introduction of the Consumer Credit Act regime in 2006 as well as developing the regulatory system that the Act brought about.
Michael Land, outgoing chairman of DEMSA commented: “I announced at last year’s AGM that I would step down this year. As I do so I am immensely pleased to be able to pass the chairmanship of DEMSA onto Ray. He is a hugely respected figure in the industry and his commitment to high standards and best practice is well known. His decision to take on the role is both an endorsement of the progress DEMSA has made to improve quality in the sector, and a statement of intent for the organisation’s future.”
Ray Watson commented: “I decided to take on the chair of DEMSA because I recognise that it commits its members to provide the highest quality of service and support to their clients. I am excited to be joining DEMSA during what will clearly be a transformational period for members and the wider sector. The Debt Management Plan Protocol, which DEMSA has embraced, launches this autumn. More significantly, the transition of debt advice and solutions into the new Financial Conduct Authority regime next year will give a further reassurance to consumers in this sector.”
Richard Wharton, general secretary of DEMSA said: “Michael has made a huge contribution to DEMSA. He was instrumental in setting it up in 2000 and has, as chairman, driven the organisation forward since then. On behalf of the whole membership I’d like to thank Michael for his hard work and dedication.”
July 19, 2013 Comments Off on DEMSA welcomes the Money Advice Service’s commitment to quality standards in debt advice
The Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) has endorsed the Money Advice Service’s commitment to raising standards in debt advice by setting out a quality framework. The framework, which was published by the Service last month, is designed to raise the bar for organisations operating within the debt advice sector. Three guiding principles sit at the heart of the framework – high quality organisations providing debt advice should be: focused on clients’ needs; well-governed; and committed to learning.
Explaining why DEMSA supports the framework, Melanie Taylor, Director of External Relations at DEMSA said:
“Anyone with debt problems has the right to expect that wherever they turn for advice they will receive high quality advice that is tailored to their needs and circumstances. That’s why we fully support the Money Advice Service’s framework which is designed to ensure that all debt advisers across the UK operate to the same standards framework.
“As our name suggests, we’re all about setting high standards for debt advice. At the organisational level our Code sets out clearly how firms should operate to ensure they provide a high quality service to their clients. At the individual level we launched our own debt advice qualification – ‘The Certificate of Money Advice Practice’ – two years ago, in conjunction with the University of Staffordshire and the Institute of Money Advisers. We will continue to work with the Money Advice Service to help develop the framework and, of course, will ensure that our own Code and qualification supports the Service’s new framework.”
Caroline Siarkiewicz, Head of the UK Debt Advice Programme at the Money Advice Service commented: “Our Quality Framework is an important step forward in our drive to bring the quality of debt advice in line across the whole country. We welcome DEMSA’s support and look forward to working collaboratively with the organisation, and many advice providers in the sector, to support the role it has to help ensure everyone receives high-quality advice.
March 14, 2013 Comments Off on Debt Help Direct Ltd and Money Worries Cease Trading
The above company are not, and never have been members of DEMSA. If any account holders of the above firms would like to consult any DEMSA member, they will be happy to assist. Please refer to our members’ page.
DEMSA was established in December 2000 in order to promote good practice in the debt management industry, and to protect the interests of the public and the lenders to whom they owe money.
February 7, 2013 Comments Off on NEW PROTECTIONS TO HELP CONSUMERS PAYING FOR DEBT MANAGEMENT ADVICE
Consumers who pay for advice on managing their debts will now be protected by a new Debt Management Plan (DMP) Protocol, launched by Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson today.
Under the Protocol, agreed with providers and creditors, consumers will not be charged any fees before signing a contract with a Protocol compliant debt management company. Providers have agreed to spread the recovery of their set up fees, over at least the first six months, making plans more affordable and sustainable.
Companies that sign up to the Protocol will be expected to provide clients with information about other appropriate debt management options.
Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said:
“This is good news for consumers faced with debt problems. I am pleased to see commercial providers making these changes, which will see them help consumers by spreading the costs of the plan.
“However, consumers should be aware that there is also free advice available. For example, anyone with debt worries can contact the National Debtline on 0808 8084000 for free and confidential advice. The Money Advice Service can also signpost people to appropriate and free debt advice services. Under this Protocol anybody in debt who seeks paid-for advice will be made aware that free debt advice options are available before signing any contract with a fee charging provider.
“This Protocol comes in the wake of the refusal by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) last week to renew the credit licences of two debt management companies and the refusal of the application of a new business.
“The Government is determined to drive up standards in this industry and ensure that people seeking paid-for advice are not disadvantaged by debt management companies that do not offer value for money.”
The Protocol will help drive up standards in the fee charging debt management sector in the run up to the launch of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which will take over responsibility for consumer credit from the OFT. The FCA will come into being on 1 April 2013 and will take over responsibility for consumer credit regulation from 1 April 2014.
The DMP Protocol, which is voluntary, will be independently monitored to ensure firms meet the standards and the spirit required of the protocol. Those companies that sign up will be able to advertise their compliance to consumers.
The Protocol will also be subject to a standing committee headed by The Insolvency Service which will oversee the protocol and report within the first 12 months of its operation.
The debt management industry and the public highlighted two key concerns in the charging structure, as part of the Government’s review into consumer credit and personal insolvency. Consumers said there was lack of awareness of where to go to get free debt advice while those willing to pay for the advice said they felt upfront fees by providers were driven more by profit for the providers than getting the best value for money.
Melanie Taylor from the Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) said, “The Protocol is good news for consumers. Not only does it improve the operation of debt management plans and the auditing of providers, but it will also provide a clear way for consumers to differentiate between providers that are committed to the highest standards and those that are not. DEMSA has long campaigned to raise standards across the sector and we’ve worked hard with The Insolvency Service and other stakeholders to deliver this Protocol.”