The Debt Advisor has been working successfully for many years to help and support customers who are struggling with debt issues and need to make some changes to get back on their ‘financial feet’.
Identifying these people early is key. We will work with you to identify scenarios which are likely to indicate a client in difficulty, such as:
- Customers who are applying for a mortgage and have been declined on affordability due to over indebtedness, or adverse data.
- Notifications for claw back of commission previously paid, if the client has confirmed that the policy is no longer affordable
- Rental clients who are not in a position to continue to rent or have been declined when credit searched.
Referring Clients for Debt Solutions
Providing debt advice and counselling is a high risk activity which requires FCA regulation. Introducers fall into 2 categories:-
Category A - Practices who have FCA interim permission which covers debt counselling and or debt adjusting.
Category B - Practices who do NOT have debt counselling permission.
As a Category A introducer, you are able to provide advice on the different debt solutions but you will have to be able demonstrate that your quality assurance monitoring is compliant with FCA regulation.
The majority of financial intermediaries fall into Category B. This does not mean that you cannot refer individuals to specialist debt solution providers, but it does mean you can only provide generic advice which has to stop short of advising on any particular debt solutions.
By referring your customers to The Debt Advisor, you can be sure that they will receive the most appropriate advice, support and solutions for their debt problems. The Debt Advisor is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Reg No: 606669 as well as being a member of the Debt Resolution Foundation. Our Insolvency Practitioner Bev Budsworth is also authorised by The Insolvency Practitioners Association.
We are able to offer a fee share for the provision of information on the client’s financial circumstances. We will happily guide you on what information is required.
The table below sets out the typical fee payable for a completed fact find.
The table below sets out in summary how The Debt Advisor share their fees:
- Debt Management
- Typical Fees Payable
- 50% of nominees fees capped at £850
- 50% of fees payable during the first 6 months
- £150 per case
The FCA rules provide that generic debt advice (such as the type of help a mortgage broker or IFA may offer clients who they find indebted) is exempt and not a regulated activity. This would fall within regulated if recommendations are made regarding specific debt solutions.
Generic advice means you can talk to your clients about:-
- Their financial situation and obtain information about their assets and debts as well as their income and expenditure
- The fact that there are a range of solutions available but you cannot advise on these solutions or offer any recommendations
If you come across a client with debt problems, we suggest you call the team at The Debt Advisor who can advise on all options available to your client. We can provide examples of what is/is not debt counselling. Call 0333 9999 600 for this provide this information.
The Debt Advisor will also inform your client about free advice services that are available. A good source on this is www.moneyadviceservice.co.uk
So in summary, you can refer your clients to The Debt Advisor if:
1) Your business is involved in debt counselling and you have FCA Interim Permission
2) Or your business only offers generic debt advice in which case this aspect will not fall under FCA regulation
What constitutes as ‘generic’ debt advice?
What checks does The Debt Advisor have in place to ensure compliance?
Whether you do or don’t have interim permission, we will all have responsibilities going forward to ensure that we demonstrate that all potential clients are treated fairly.
The Debt Advisor has a responsibility to ensure that all their lead introducers conduct their business in a compliant way, which is why they have put together a compliance checklist. This will be sent to you when you sign up to become an affiliate with them.
As an affiliate member, you’ll also benefit from:
- A dedicated live portal which enables you to track your cases online any time of the day
- Personalised email address & telephone number to refer leads to them
- Client fact-find Template
For further information and to find out how you can work with The Debt Advisor to look after your customers, please call 0333 9999 600 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org stating that you are a Paradigm member firm.
The Debt Advisor Limited is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority