The Office of Fair Trading has found a County Durham man 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 William 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O’Rourke also failed to declare on his licence application that a previously held licence had been revoked, which contravenes the Consumer Credit Act.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.
It says that those wishing to collect debts must be able to meet the minimum standards required by the OFT.
Nigel Cates, deputy director of consumer credit at the OFT, says: “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.”