The HCEOA has welcomed the first ever draft business plan put forward by the Enforcement Conduct Board (ECB) for 2023/24.
In its response to the ECB’s consultation on the draft business plan, the HCEOA has stated that “it supports the ECB in delivering its mission of making sure everyone experiencing enforcement action is fairly treated.”
Alan J. Smith, Chair of HCEOA, said: “As an Association we already provide data and insight to the Ministry of Justice and have a comprehensive complaints procedure and a Code of Best Practice that our members follow at all times. We welcome the involvement of ECB to recognise these high standards set by regulation are reflected in as wide a coverage as possible so that no-one can avoid the rules of enforcement.
He added: “A profession-wide standardised complaints process will be beneficial for debtors and creditors alike to help them navigate this often-complex area. Similarly, the updating and improving of the existing National Standards, which date back to 2014, is an important area for the ECB to lead discussion and action on.”
Alan concluded: “We’re already liaising with the ECB on behalf of our members on a regular basis and we will continue to do so to ensure there is an ongoing collaborative approach between the High Court enforcement profession, the ECB and the debt advice sector.”
The ECB is a relatively new organisation set up following an agreement between the enforcement profession and leading debt advice charities including the Money Advice Trust, Christians Against Poverty and Step Change.
In its first ever draft business plan, the ECB, which will operate independently of the profession and Government, has stated that its five priorities are to:
- Design and start to gather an evidence base to support the development of a proportionate oversight framework.
- Continue work commenced in 2021 to ensure full coverage by the ECB.
- Carry out a review of current complaints procedures and produce guidance for companies on how to ensure that their complaints systems are compliant with good practice.
- Set out a plan and timetable for the review of the standards and produce an updated set of standards and code of practice.
- Continue to develop the ECB into a cost effective, impactful, collaborative, and credible oversight body.
More information on the ECB’s draft business plan and consultation can be found at: https://enforcementconductboard.org/current-consultations/