DEBT collection group 1st Credit today said all its consumer credit licences had been renewed by the Office of Fair Trading.
The move comes after the company was warned by the trading watchdog in February that it faced fines of up to £50,000 and having its consumer credit licence revoked if it did not improve its debt collection practices.
The OFT imposed a series of requirements on the group after an investigation found that some of its business practices failed to meet satisfactory standards.
These included calling on 1st Credit and its associated companies not to issue statutory demands warning that they would start bankruptcy proceedings where this was unlikely to be the case.
The firm was also told not to discuss legal action with consumers unless it was likely that it will initiate it, and to ensure it was handling sensitive cases involving vulnerable people, such as those with mental health or medical problems, appropriately.
The renewal of the consumer credit licences followed a rigorous assessment of the firm by the OFT, looking at the business controls in place and the skills, knowledge and experience of staff working in each of the group’s four subsidiaries and its main business.
Najib Nathoo, chief executive of 1st Credit, said: "We are committed to driving industry best practice, and delighted that this has been reflected in the renewal of our licences by the Office of Fair Trading.
"In the past year, we have continually strengthened our compliance procedures and significantly advanced the knowledge and skills of all our staff.
"We have a strong, highly-motivated workforce, led by one of the most experienced management teams in the business. We will continue to invest in our people and drive continuous improvement across all areas of our business."