Trading Standards Institute and DEMSA join forces to enhance service standards within the debt management industry

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Baines & Ernst - a UK-based Debt Management Company - reports on the regulatory changes for the Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA) and what this means for consumers seeking professional debt help.

Baines & Ernst logo

Baines & Ernst

At a time when people feel their most financially vulnerable, how can they be sure they're getting help from a company they can trust?

You don't have to watch the news to know that people are struggling financially. Over recent years, many households have been dealing with money problems due to job losses, pay freezes and inflation.

In fact, recent statistics published by Credit Action – the National Money Education Charity – showed that the average household debt in the UK (excluding mortgages) was up to £5,998 in February 2013. This included unsecured debts such as payday loans, credit and store cards, catalogue accounts and overdrafts.

Nick Pearson, External Affairs Director at Baines & Ernst said, “With financial constraints tightening for a growing number of UK residents, it is only natural that people want professional financial help. Knowing where to turn for guidance can be confusing - especially if you're under pressure from lenders. Therefore the need to find a reputable company who can protect the interests of both the consumer and lender has never been more important."

So, at a time when people feel their most financially vulnerable, how can they be sure they're getting help from a company they can trust?

Well, one key feature consumers can rely on when researching debt management companies online is the use of the Debt Management Standards Association (DEMSA) logo.

DEMSA is a highly regarded body within the debt management sector – renowned for promoting excellent standards within the industry. Therefore, financial solutions companies displaying the logo on their websites are showing consumers their commitment to following the DEMSA Code of Practice and delivering the highest standards of service to their customers.

All DEMSA member companies – such as Baines & Ernst – place great emphasis on adhering to the Code of Practice to ensure customers seeking debt help get the best standard of care possible.

From the 1st April 2013 the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has taken over the administration of the approved Code of Practice Scheme from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

DEMSA is the only trade body within the debt solutions sector which has a Trading Standards Institute approved Code of Practice to promote honest business and target rogue traders.

The driving force behind the transfer of the Approved Codes comes as the OFT announced that they will gradually be relinquishing some responsibilities before it’s finally abolished on 31st March 2014. Trading Standards are already well known across various industries as a governing body looking out for the customers' and companies' best interests, whilst continuing to raise customer service standards.

This new partnership is great news for consumers and lenders – who can be assured that the TSI will continue to monitor the Code of Practice with the same attentiveness as the OFT.

Nick Pearson concludes, “Customers are much savvier these days, they shop around and research providers when they need help – as a DEMSA member, we always go above and beyond to work to a high service standard.

Now that the Trading Standards Institute has recently approved DEMSA’s Code of Practice, consumers can feel safe that they are choosing a company that protects their best interests above all else. The lesson for those people in debt is simple, if you need advice about your debt problems, for peace of mind, you should seek it from those firms which are members of DEMSA.

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Imran Khan
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