FCA sets out its expectations on debt packager firms providing debt advice and counselling services

The FCA has published a ‘Dear CEO’ letter to debt packager firms, setting out its expectations on the provision of debt advice and counselling services.

The FCA is concerned about the poor standards it has seen after undertaking a review of a small sample of debt advice provided by debt packager firms. The FCA stated that this may result in investigation by its Enforcement Division and that it will continue to be an area of focus for them.

Within the letter, the FCA set out the requirements that it expects firms to meet including that:

  • firms have in place suitable, affordable and sustainable debt management solutions;
  • all financial promotions and communications are clear, fair and not misleading;
  • firms have in place effective, clear policies and procedures to identify vulnerable customers; and
  • firms keep orderly and sufficient business records to enable the FCA to monitor compliance with the FCA’s regulatory requirements.