Posted July 25, 2021
The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, has welcomed proposals for a new Enforcement Conduct Authority to raise standards in the enforcement industry.
The proposals are due in a new report from the Centre for Social Justice, which has worked with the debt advice sector (including the Money Advice Trust) and enforcement industry to reach a consensus on plans for a new independent oversight body to protect people in debt.
The Money Advice Trust is part of the Taking Control group of advice agencies and other charities, set up in 2016 to campaign for bailiff reform. The Taking Control group has collectively welcomed the proposals.
“These welcome proposals for an independent Enforcement Conduct Authority move us closer to the protections that are necessary for people experiencing bailiff action, for which we have been campaigning for many years.
“The focus now must be on supporting the body to deliver its clear mandate to raise standards in enforcement and better protect people in debt. This includes Government – who must now step up by ensuring the Enforcement Conduct Authority has the powers it needs to be as effective as possible.”
In a joint statement, theTaking Control group of advice agencies and charities said:
“As a group of debt advice and other organisations supporting people in financial difficulty, we still see far too many examples of bailiffs breaking the rules, treating people unfairly and failing to take vulnerability into account.
“Though it falls short of the full statutory regulation we’ve called for, these proposals are an important opportunity to raise standards and protect people in financial difficulty from unfair practices.
“Government must now step up and deliver more than just words of support for the Enforcement Conduct Authority. This means giving the ECA the authority and tools it needs to set and enforce standards and deliver its mandate to ensure people affected by enforcement action are treated fairly.”