CSA appoints new president at AGM

The Credit Services Association (CSA) has appointed a new president and announced an update to its board of directors.

CSA appoints new president at AGM

John Ricketts has taken on the role of president from Leigh Berkley who will remain on the board.

Berkley, director of external affairs at Arrow Global, will continue his work as vice president of the Federation of European National Collection Associations (FENCA).

Ricketts, a member of the CSA board since 2009, has been vice president since 2014. He currently holds the position of commercial director at Allied International Credit.

To coincide with this appointment, Nick Cherry has been confirmed as the CSA’s new vice president.

Cherry, managing director at Phillips & Cohen Associates, has more than 20 years of experience in the credit industry including previous roles at Citi-Financial and The Funding Corporation.

Joining Berkley on the board of directors will be several re-elected members including Sara de Tute of Lowell Group, Eddie Nott of 1st Credit and Denise Crossley of Motormile Finance.

A new addition to the board is Stuart Sykes, operations director at short-term loan debt collector Secure Recoveries.

The appointments were announced at the the CSA annual general meeting in Leicester last week.

During the day, issues of upcoming regulation were raised; in the morning session Ofcom provided an update on its consultation on abandoned and silent calls.

Ofcom said its policy on persistent misuse had not been updated since 2010 until it issued a consultation in 2015 to update the policy. The updated policy will become effective on March 1.

The focus of this policy statement has remained around silent and abandoned calls but Ofcom said other forms of persistent misuse will be addressed, based on the level of consumer harm caused.

At the event Eric Bash, principal of the consumer group at Ofcom, said thepolicy will clarify that there is no three percent abandoned call rate (ACR) “safe harbour”.

He explained how this has previously been criticised because some firms believe this allows companies to make silent and abandoned calls, as long as they are within that three percent window.

Bash said this is only used when reviewing potential cases of nuisance calls and if a company were outside of this window it would be treated as a greater concern.

Ofcom also identified its “blocking” strategy as an aid to reduce harm to consumers who receive nuisance calls.

It said it is engaging with communication providers to consult on protection conditions and enforcement guidelines.

These guidelines enable Ofcom to direct firms to directly block calls from specific numbers, people or companies.

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime was also discussed during the day.

The regime was introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in March 2016 in a bid to raise standards of governance, increase individual accountability and help restore accountability in the banking sector.

It will be extended to apply to all financial services firms at an expected date of early 2018.

Julie Pardy, lead regulatory consultant at Worksmart, which provides risk management software that helps companies remain compliant, said 11 months into the regime the company has found firms are unable to provide “certification” because their systems and controls aren’t ready or operational.

She also said Worksmart has seen companies with a lack of training on the new rules, gaps in allocation of responsibility or duplication of ownership and insufficient resources and systems allocated to the on-going management of the regime.