U.K. regs up pressure on debt collection practices


Debt collection has become a hot topic as U.K. regulators pile pressure on utilities and financial services companies to improve how they treat customers in arrears.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), plus sectoral regulators Ofwat, Ofgem, and Ofcom, issued joint guidance last month to companies they regulate about how they pursue debts. The FCA said it fined companies a total of 90 million pounds (U.S. $113 million) for related failures in 2020 and made them pay more than £570 million (U.S. $714 million) in compensation to customers.

The FCA followed up in April with its final version of guidance for financial services firms aimed at protecting consumers in financial difficulties. The FCA said in a press release it found 7.4 million people were struggling to pay bills and credit repayments in January.

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