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News Article

LWE is awarded ECB accreditation

  • 25 October 2023
  • Admin

London Warrant Enforcement Ltd has made an active public commitment to perusing high standards

LWE is has been awarded accreditation to the Enforcement Conduct Board (ECB).

 

  

The purpose of the Enforcement Conduct Board (ECB) is to ensure that all those who are subject to enforcement action in England and Wales are fairly treated.

The ECB will provide independent oversight of the enforcement industry, with a special regard for those experiencing financial difficulty or other vulnerable circumstances.

Until now, there has been no independent oversight of the enforcement industry. Minimum standards, published by the Ministry of Justice, expect enforcement agents to treat those in debt fairly, but these standards are not legally binding.

The ECB will be guided by the principles of independence, ambition, proportionality, collaboration, and transparency, and will focus on delivering five key functions:

  • Raising standards - set out new effective standards of behaviour and supervise performance and conduct in the industry.
  • Improving accountability - hold enforcement firms and agents to account, primarily through supervisory activities such as audits, reviews of firms’ policies and procedures, compliance and complaints, independent research, and a firm and fair system of operational and financial sanctions to penalise and strongly disincentivise non-compliance with ECB standards.
  • Complaint handling - develop and introduce a new standardised complaints process in consultation with various existing points of contact for complaints to ensure public confidence in an accessible and independent complaint-handling system.
  • Protecting the vulnerable and achieving fairness – develop and introduce new, affordable repayment and vulnerability protocols drawing on best practice from other organisations, businesses, and agencies as appropriate.
  • Authorisation - work with the Ministry of Justice and wider stakeholders to develop an appropriate and workable authorisation process for enforcement agents and firms, considering the existing court certification process.

The ECB has been created with agreement between the civil enforcement industry and leading debt advice charities including Money Advice Trust, Christians Against Poverty and Step Change.

The ECB, which will operate independently of both the industry and the Government, has a mandate to ensure fair treatment and appropriate protection for people subject to action by enforcement agents.

Funded initially by a voluntary industry levy, the Government has committed to reviewing the need to provide the ECB’s oversight with full legal authority by 2024.