Debt collectors and authorisation

Here we list some typical misconceptions about the way we authorise debt collectors. Then we give you the facts.

A firm collecting its own debts will need permission to carry on debt collecting.

✔ You’ll need permission to carry on debt collecting only when collecting debt on behalf of a third party. When collecting your own debt, you’ll instead need permission relating to ‘Exercising or having the right to exercise the lender’s rights and duties…’.


A firm that only collects debts in relation to exempt agreements doesn’t need debt collecting permission.

✔ Permission to carry on debt collecting is required to collect debts arising under credit agreements, consumer hire agreements and regulated peer-to-peer loans. Utility debts and company debts are excluded as they are not credit agreements. However, any steps taken to gain payment of a debt due under a credit agreement (consumer hire agreement or regulated peer-to-peer loan) constitutes debt collecting – whether the agreement is regulated or exempt.


A firm offering outsourced services doesn’t need a permission of its own.

✔ Even if you provide only outsourced services to a lender, it’s highly likely you’ll need your own permission. That’s because you may  be carrying on:

  • debt administration, which involves taking steps to perform the duties/exercising or enforcing rights under a credit agreement on a lender’s behalf; and/or
  • debt collecting, which involves taking steps to procure the payment of a debt

The exception is when you’re an appointed representative of a principal firm.