The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) turned down an application for a consumer credit licence.
The OFT decided that County Durham man William O’Rourke was unfit to hold a credit licence and has refused his application to set up a debt collection business.
The OFT refused to grant a licence to O’Rourke as it was not satisfied that he had the specialist skills, knowledge, practices or procedures in place to become a licensed debt collector. O’Rourke also failed to declare on his licence application that a previously held licence had been revoked, which contravenes the Consumer Credit Act.
The OFT considers debt collection to be a high risk activity and sets specific standards which all those wishing to collect debts must adhere to. As such, those wishing to collect debts must show that they have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience, and business practices and procedures, in order to be able to meet the minimum standards required by the OFT.
Nigel Cates, OFT deputy director of consumer credit, said: “The OFT has refused to grant Mr O’Rourke a licence as we do not consider him to be fit to be licensed to collect debts. Debt collection is a high risk area and we have a duty to protect consumers. Anyone who does not meet the necessary standards of competence will not be allowed to engage in this activity.”””