Thanks for the info. I will certainly be sending a letter to HMRC.
I recently sent an email to the OFT and Trading Standards. The OFT replied. Some of their reply may be of help or interest.
The Office of Fair Trading,
CC: Trading Standards, City of London.
Financial Ombudsman Service.
I have received several letters from ‘Mercers debt collections limited’.
One of the letters contained the Office of Fair Trading’s insert OFT 966.
The top of their letter gives their address as Mercers Debt Collections Ltd, PO Box 55, Liverpool, L32 8XX.
The footer of the letter gives their Registered Office address as Citypoint, One Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9SS and Company Registration number 2550639.
They purport to be acting on behalf of Barclaycard but the letters are not signed.
On inspection of the records at Companies House I note the following entries;
Nature of business (SIC): 74990- Non-trading company
Last Accounts Made Up to: 31/12/2011 (DORMANT)
Further investigation from other sources give the Director as; RICHARDS, ZARA JADE
I note the following;
‘If your limited company or organization was dormant and is now active, you must tell HMRC. You can use form CT204 (Active company) to do this or, if your company is registered at Companies House, you can do this online.’
Now when Mercers debt collections limited send me letters does that make them an active company?
Should I be reporting them to yourselves, HM Revenue and Customs, Trading Standards or the Financial Ombudsman?
Your advice on this matter would be very much appreciated.
They replied as follows;
Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the Act)
Complaint Against: Mercers Debt Collections Limited
Licence No: 0511950
Thank you for your email received on 4 June 2012 in which you ask;
1. ‘…when Mercers…sends me letters does that make them an active company?’
2. Should I be reporting..(Mercers)..to yourselves, HM Revenue and Customs, Trading Standards or the Financial Ombudsman?’
Your questions are prompted by several letters which you have received from Mercers and by your reference to certain company information, including references to ‘active’ and ‘dormant’.
Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 it is the responsibility of the OFT, as licensing authority, to monitor and regulate those businesses involved in consumer lending or related credit activities, including debt collection. We consider the fitness and credit competence of businesses which apply for a licence and continue to monitor the fitness and conduct of those which are licensed.
The Consumer Credit Register (CCR) provides details of holders of and applications for consumer credit licences, both current and past, and details of the associated company officers. The CCR can be accessed from the OFT web-site at :- www.oft.gov.uk/consumercreditregister
The CCR records that Mercers holds a consumer credit licence to carry on the business of debt collecting.
In relation to your references to company information, we should clarify that the OFT cannot terminate a licence based on a company’s ‘dormant’ status as recorded on Companies House records
In this regard, we suggest that the question of whether a business is ‘dormant’ or ‘active’ is more appropriate for Companies House to consider than the OFT. I hope that you will understand that we also do not consider it appropriate to comment whether you should make any report or complaint to HM Revenue and Customs regarding the company information you refer to.
With regard to our role as the licensing authority, the OFT has issued guidance (DCG) for all licence holders engaged in the recovery of consumer credit related debt. The DCG sets out the standards expected of such licence holders and highlights those business practices that the OFT would view as being incompatible with fitness to hold a licence. The DCG can be accessed from the OFT's website at:www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2011/32-11
Although the OFT does not have the power to intervene in individual disputes and consumer complaints, the OFT records and monitors disputes between consumers and businesses. The OFT uses this information in its role of regulating its licensees. We are unsure whether you wish to make a complaint specifically regarding the licensed debt collection activities of Mercers. We would be interested to receive details of any complaint specifically concerning these activities that you may wish to make to the OFT, including copies of any correspondence, which we will consider alongside any other complaints that we may receive.
The OFT, like any other public body, is subject to legal restrictions on information disclosure. Therefore, please note that we may be constrained from disclosing specific details about any subsequent regulatory action taken, should it be appropriate to take such action, until it is complete or reaches an earlier stage where the law permits disclosure. When and if an investigation results in formal action being taken by the OFT, it is our policy to publish the outcome on the CCR.
With regard to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), as you may know this is an independent dispute resolution service which can intervene in certain disputes between consumers and financial services providers under the regulatory regime of both the FSA and the OFT. Where appropriate, the Financial Ombudsman may order financial services providers to pay compensation to consumers. The FOS can be contacted as follows:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
London E14 9SRcomplaint.email@example.com
08000 234 567 (free when phoning from a fixed line, or landline) or 0300 123 9 123 (free for mobile-phone users who pay a monthly charge for calls to numbers starting 01 or 02).
I hope you will find this information helpful.
Enquiries and Reporting Centre
Office of Fair Trading